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“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ” (Ephesians 1:3). Think about the magnitude of this statement describing the blessings God has freely and unconditionally bestowed upon His people in and by the Lord Jesus Christ. And consider that none of us who are blessed in this way are deserving of the least of these blessings. In fact, if any of us received what we have earned or deserved, it would be the penalty of sin which is eternal death and damnation. All these blessings were bestowed upon us IN CHRIST before the foundation of the world and based upon HIS obedience unto death to save us from our sins. They are all the fruit of Christ’s righteousness imputed (charged, accounted) to us, and this includes the blessings of spiritual life and faith (Eph. 2:8-10). No blessing is ex-cluded. No blessing is earned or deserved. This is truly God’s amazing grace!
--- Pastor Bill Parker
OUR NEED OF GRACE
We want grace, free grace; grace today, grace tomorrow, grace this moment, grace the next, grace all the day long; healing, reviving, restoring, saving, sanctify-ing; and all this multiplied by all our wants and woes, sins, slips and falls, unceasing and aggravated backslidings. We want grace to believe, grace to hope, grace to love, grace to fight, and grace to conquer; grace to stand, grace to live, and grace to die. Every moment of our lives we need keeping, supporting, holding, and withholding grace; for, as a good man has said, "If the Lord leave us for one moment, He leaves us that one moment too long."
--- J.C. Philpot 1802-1869
GOD AND MAN
"Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, and against the man that is My fellow, saith the LORD of hosts; smite the Shepherd..." (Zechariah 13:7). Take thy stand at the foot of the cross, and contemplate that great wonder concerning Him crucified who was fellow to the Lord of Hosts. View both His natures. He was truly and properly man. It was one express article in the covenant of redemption that "as by man came death, by man should come also the resurrection of the dead." Moreover, the first promise of the bible, which came in with the fall, was express to this purpose: "The seed of the woman should bruise the serpent’s head." The devil had triumphed over the nature of man in the fall; and the same nature of man was promised to conquer death, hell, and the grave: and both the law and the justice of God were solemnly concerned that the same nature which had rebelled should obey, and the same nature which had sinned should atone; and all the divine perfections were concerned that He who undertook the purposes of redemption, should be the man that was fellow to the Lord of Hosts, even Christ Jesus. Secondly, as none but man could be suited for a Redeemer, so none but God could be competent to accomplish redemption. Hence he must be fellow to the Lord of Hosts. In point of dignity, in point of merit, the glory due to a Redeemer when redemption should be accomplished, and the adoration, love, and praise to be ascribed to Him, could never be suitable to any less than God. Hence by the union of both natures, Jesus, and Jesus only, who thus formed one Christ, became the very person here described, and was, and is, and ever must be, "the man that is My fellow, saith the Lord of Hosts." Whenever thou lookest up to the cross, (let it be daily, hourly, continually, yea, unceasingly) never lose sight of this glorious union of God and man in thy Jesus. Fix thine eyes, thine heart, thy whole affection upon Him; and while thou art resting all thine assurance of pardon, mercy, and peace, the joy of this life, and the glory of that which is to come, wholly upon thy Jesus; Oh! let thine ear of faith receive in transports of delight, the proclamation of God thy Father concerning Him, "the man that is My fellow, saith the Lord of Hosts."
---Robert Hawker, April 10th, PM devotion (edited for length)