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March 26 Today’s Reading: — 1 Samuel 10-12
“Great Things He hath Done for You”
1 Samuel 12:24
“Only fear the Lord, and serve him in truth, with all your heart; for consider how great things he hath done for you.” — After assuring the children of Israel of God’s abiding faithfulness, of the Lord’s sovereign electing love, and of his own unceasing intercessions for them at the throne of grace, God’s prophet gave his people this wise, affectionate word of pastoral counsel. He had just recapitulated Israel’s history in the manifestations of God’s love for his chosen people. May God the Holy Spirit give us grace this day to remember his great mercies and our unworthiness before him! Let us refer all our blessings, as we review them, to the mercy, love, and grace of our God in Christ Jesus. Remembering past mercies, let us find strength for today, and seek confident faith in Christ for tomorrow.
When we begin to consider what great things the Lord God has done for us and how he has done them, we are at a loss to know where to start and where to end. Shall we consider God’s mercies in creation, in providence, or in grace? How can we calculate those great mercies even in one of these spheres? Wilt thou open with the consideration of God’s mercies towards thee in nature, or providence, or grace? “It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness!” The riches of his grace in Christ Jesus are “unsearchable riches!” Who can count them? We do not know; we cannot even imagine the countless mercies performed for us and bestowed upon us during the long season of our unregenerate state. Even since faith came, we are more ignorant of God’s mercies than we are knowing. That is to say, his mercies are unimaginably more than those of which we are aware. Truly, when I consider “how great things he hath done for” me, I am compelled to first acknowledge that they are beyond calculation, too great for me to number.
How can we begin to consider the great things the Lord has done for us if we do not begin before time began, considering his eternal mercies given to us in Christ Jesus, our Surety and Covenant Head before the world began? — “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.” — “Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began!” The mercies of God are eternal mercies. All the works he performs for us in time were finished from eternity!
What a huge volume might be written if we could write down only the Lord’s providential mercies performed for us! His constant watchfulness over us, his secret and manifest provisions for us, and his unfailing faithfulness in graciously and wisely making all things minister to become subservient to our souls’ welfare are amazing things to consider. Oh, what great things the Lord has done for us! He performs all things for us. Imagine that! While we mark the footsteps of his love and remember our wanderings from him, we are both bowed with shame and lifted with hope. He who has spared us, saved us, and sanctified us, in spite of ourselves, will yet keep us in perfect security in spite of ourselves. — “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits!”
Moving from the outer court of nature and providence and entering into the inner court of grace, consider what great things the Lord has done for us since the day of our Lord’s effectual call and the conversion of our souls. It would tire the arm of an angel to write them down. Precious Lord Jesus, in you, and by you, and from you, all our mercies flow! You, dear Savior, are the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First, the Last, and the Best of all! Christ is the comprehensive gift of God. He is the channel of all blessings temporal, spiritual, and eternal. He is the River of Life flowing from the throne of God, through whom all mercies come and praise returns. He purchased them. He gives them. And he sustains them. All the covenant mercies of God in Christ are “the sure mercies of David” to his elect.
Fear and Serve
These things should inspire our souls with joyful confidence to fear the Lord, and serve him in spirit and in truth with all our hearts. “He is thy praise, and he is thy God, that hath done for thee these great and terrible things, which thine eyes have seen.” “I beseech you therefore, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Blessed Spirit of God, give me grace to do so, for Christ’s sake.