Family Devotion – Henry Law – Section 1 Thursday

THURSDAY MORNING.

O Lord, our Lord, how excellent is Your name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens. From Your high throne behold with gracious eye—Your humble servants. We would not cross the threshold of this day without committing ourselves, our souls and bodies, all our concerns, and all our friends—to Your guardian care. We know that we are not our own; we desire to be wholly Yours. Watch over us, keep us, guide us, direct us, sanctify us, and bless us. Incline our hearts to delight in Your holy ways.

As the potter frames the clay—may You mold us wholly into the blessed image of Jesus! Make us vessels of honor, fitted for Your service. May our lips, as well-tuned harps, sound the sweet melody of Your heavenly praise. May all around take knowledge of us—that we have been much with Jesus—that we are dead to earthly vanities—crucified with Christ—yet living by Your Spirit—trampling the world beneath our spurning feet—having no conformity to lying vanities—but entirely transformed by the renewing of our minds—clad in the whole armor of God—shining as lights in the dark world—and having “holiness to the Lord” conspicuous on our brow!

We do not know with what matters, we may be intermingled with this day. Let no evil soil our hands. Help us, as we pass along the miry paths of life—to keep our garments pure from all spot and stain. While transacting needful concerns, may our affections be high in heaven with You. As the flame tends upward, so may the fire of heavenly love in our souls, kindled and fanned by Your Holy Spirit—be ever ascending in brighter and purer blaze!

Keep our gaze immovably fixed, not on the things which are seen—but on the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal—but the things which are unseen are eternal. Open our eyes to see “emptiness, fragility and mockery” inscribed on all earth’s vanities! They cannot satisfy! As a shadow—they depart and flee away! While we grasp them—they are gone! May we view all things in the ‘mirror of eternity!’

Impress on us the solemn truth, that in a little while, “the heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare!” May we move through this world, with our eyes watching for the sign of the Son of man in the heavens. May our ears be ever listening for the last trumpet’s peal, and may we be looking for and hastening unto the new heavens and new earth wherein righteousness dwells. May one aspiration ever swell within our hearts, “Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!”

We know not who of our fellow-men shall cross our path this day. Give us the persuasion that You will order all our interactions with them according to Your all-ruling wisdom. May mutual good be gained and done by us. May we look on everyone as sent by You—with, or for, a blessing. Forbid it, O gracious Lord, that we should not be profited and profitable. At the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ, may we bless You for grace brought to us by Your servants this day. And may others bless You for grace communicated through us. Guide us by Your counsel that we may speak each word as our last word, and step each step as our last step. May we go in and out holding our lives in open hand, ready to be surrendered at Your call. If this day should be our last, may it be our best. May earth’s farewell be abundant entrance to Your everlasting kingdom. Hearken and do, most blessed God, for Christ’s sake. Amen.

THURSDAY EVENING.

Holy Father, who is like unto You, glorious in holiness, keeping mercy for thousands; forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin! If Your mercy had any limits—where could we find refuge from our deserved wrath? But Your love in Christ Jesus is without measure and without end, therefore we poor sinners now live before You, to bow in worship at Your throne.

We present ourselves in deep humility. Sins of omission, sins of commission, sins against You our Heavenly Father, sins against Your beloved Son our adorable Redeemer, sins against the strivings of Your Holy Spirit, sins against the dictates of a warning conscience, sins against the precepts of Your blessed Word, sins against our neighbors and ourselves, sins at home and abroad—testify that we have been this day, unprofitable servants and vile transgressors!

Enter not into judgment with us. We plead no righteousness of our own. We cloak no iniquity. We spread out the hours of this day before You—as black with evil. Our earnest prayer is for pardon, through the meritorious death of Him who died for us, and now lives at Your right hand, to make intercession for our guilty souls and bodies.

At the close of each day, we are constrained to renew our penitence. How often have we vowed that our love would burn more brightly, our service would be more sincere, and our lives more devoted. We leave our chambers with pious resolve to be wholly Yours—but we soon stumble and backslide, and return to confess our weakness, misery, and sin.

Forever blessed be Your holy name—that the finished work of Jesus needs no addition from our doings! If the slightest merit were needed at our hands, our agonized cry must be, “Lost, ruined and undone!” Heaven could never be ours. We must go from hence—to everlasting destruction, away from Your presence—to lie down among the wailings of the outcasts! But we adore You for Christ our all, and we plead His full, perfect, and sufficient atoning sacrifice.

But we feel, that though our works can never justify—yet still their abundance should show forth Your praise, and exhibit evidence that Your Spirit has called us to Your faith and fear, and to pure and loving and unceasing service. Enable us, we beseech You, if future days should be ours, to amend our lives according to Your holy Word. Increase in us hatred and abhorrence of all evil. Strengthen us to flee the sins which we confess. Make us more resolute, more watchful, more prayerful. Open our eyes to the snares ever before our feet, and help us to escape them, through the knowledge of Him who has called us to glory and virtue.

Of Your free grace grant, we beseech You, that no evil fruits may spring up from the evil seeds which our unwary hands have strewn. Let no fellow-creature be hardened in vanity and folly—by our lack of holy living. If we have been ashamed this day of Christ and His Word, pardon our unfaithfulness, and give us opportunity to repair the neglect. If any words from our lips have shown unkindness, malice, envy, or lack of love, grant that they may be no stumbling-block in the way of others. May no unadvised speech or hasty temper in us bring dishonor to Your sacred name. Oh that our upright example may ever rebuke vice and allure to godliness, and give evidence that the ways of Christ are lovely!

Bless with Your enriching grace—every effort made by us to make known Your saving truth. Hear and answer all our prayers for ourselves and others.

Into Your hands we now commit ourselves, our souls, our bodies, for You have redeemed us O Lord, O God of truth. Keep all evil far away. May refreshing slumber, if it be Your gracious will, soothe and restore our powers. Give ministering spirits charge to watch around us. We earnestly implore, that our every thought may be holiness to You. For Your name’s sake—send us not empty away. We crave acceptance in the merits of Christ our Savior. Amen.

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