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August 23 Today’s Reading: Ezekiel 16
“Thy time was the time of love.”
For every chosen, redeemed sinner there is a set day appointed by the Lord God from everlasting called “the time of love,” a specific, divinely ordained time when the God of all grace will make his everlasting love known to his elect, revealing Christ in his chosen, by the saving operations of his Holy Spirit. Meditate often, O my soul, on this, and find fresh reason every hour to praise, adore, love, and trust the Lord Jesus.
Ruined and Helpless
Ezekiel 16:4 and 5 give us a vivid display of our fallen, ruined, helpless condition by nature, the condition of all our race since the fall of our father Adam. Every son and daughter of Adam may be truly said to be cast out to the loathing of their person. All our race, if left to ourselves and left to men, is left to perish forever! How dreadful are the consequences of the fall! This is your state and mine by nature. Fallen, sinful, lost, ruined, helpless, dead in trespasses and in sin, we have no hope, except God do for us what we cannot and will not do for ourselves. Except God give us life, we could never have life!
Christ Passes By
Here is the wonderful, effectual cause of every chosen sinner’s recovery from the fall. — “I passed by!” The Lord Jesus, the Divine Samaritan, passes by. Beholding our nature, polluted in our blood, he has compassion upon our poor souls. His grace, and not man's merit, is the sole source of all that follows in mercy. Though our dear Savior takes occasion from our misery to magnify the riches of his grace, his love and mercy precede our misery. Wonderful grace!
Take note of this fact: — For the comfort and assurance of our souls, because his grace seems too marvelous for us to believe, our blessed Savior repeats himself. — “”Yea, I said unto thee when thou was in thy blood, Live!” By his sovereign, effectual word, “Live,” we are resurrected from the dead (Revelation 20:6). Then, he graciously confirms to our souls both his love for us and his operation of grace in and upon our souls by his almighty Spirit.
Washed, Decked, Perfect
When the Lord Jesus passed by, when he came into this world to seek and save that which was lost, he saw his church in the very state of this poor female child, cast out and loathsome in her person to every beholder but himself. It was Christ who spread his skirts of perfect righteousness and perfect atonement over us, took us into covenant with himself, and made us his own, one in union with himself. It was our dear Lord Jesus Christ who washed us in his blood and clothed us with the garment of his salvation. These, like fine linen and gold and silk, are the beautiful robes of our covering. It is the Lord our Righteousness in whose righteousness we were made perfect through his comeliness, which he put upon us!
Yes, O blessed Son of God, all the beauty and loveliness of perfection is ours in you, from you, and by you! In grace here and in glory to all eternity, it is in Christ and from Christ that we derive all righteousness, sanctification, and holiness, — perfect righteousness, perfect sanctification, and perfect holiness. — “I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul shall be joyful in my God; for he hath clothed me with the garments of salvation, he hath covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decketh himself with ornaments, and as a bride adorneth herself with her jewels” (Isaiah 61:10). Amen.