This year I've decided to read a new devotional book along with my regular Bible reading. I've chosen the book, New Morning Mercies by Paul David Tripp. The title of this book is based on one of my favorite passages of Scripture:
But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope: The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him." The LORD is good to those who wait for him, to the soul who seeks him.
-Lamentations 3:21-25Below is an excerpt from the introduction that was deeply encouraging to me. I hope it encourages you as we begin 2015!
Now, I have to be honest here—I didn’t write this devotional just for you. No, I wrote it for myself as well. There is no reality, principle, observation, truth, command, encouragement, exhortation, or rebuke in this devotional that I don’t desperately need myself. I’m like you; familiarity causes me not to treasure the gospel of Jesus Christ as I should. As the themes of grace get more and more familiar and common, they don’t capture my attention and awe as they once did. When amazing realities of the gospel quit commanding your attention, your awe, and your worship, other things in your life will capture your attention instead. When you quit celebrating grace, you begin to forget how much you need grace, and when you forget how much you need grace, you quit seeking the rescue and strength that only grace can give. This means you begin to see yourself as more righteous, strong, and wise than you actually are, and in so doing, you set yourself up for trouble.
So this devotional is a call for you and me to remember. It’s a call to remember the horrible disaster of sin. It’s a call to remember Jesus, who stood in our place. It’s a call to remember the righteousness that is his gift. It’s call to remember the transforming power of the grace you and I couldn’t have earned. It’s a call to remember the destiny that is guaranteed to all of God’s blood-purchased children. It’s a call to remember his sovereignty and his glory. It’s a call to remember that remembering is spiritual war; even for this we need grace.
The title of this devotional is not only a reference to the way the Bible talks about God’s grace (Lam. 3:22–23), but also an allusion to a famous hymn that I think we should sing every day.
“Great is thy faithfulness! Great is thy faithfulness!One of the stunning realities of the Christian life is that in a world where everything is in some state of decay, God’s mercies never grow old. They never run out. They never are ill timed. They never dry up. They never grow weak. They never get weary. They never fail to meet the need. They never disappoint. They never, ever fail, because they really are new every morning. Formfitted for the challenges, disappointments, sufferings, temptations, and struggles with sin within and without are the mercies of our Lord. Sometimes they are:
Morning by morning new mercies I see:
All I have needed thy hand hath provided—
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
Awe-inspiring merciesGod’s mercies don’t come in one color; no, they come in every shade of every color of the rainbow of his grace. God’s mercies are not the sound of one instrument; no, they sound the note of every instrument of his grace. God’s mercy is general; all of his children bask in his mercy. God’s mercy is specific; each child receives the mercy that is designed for his or her particular moment of need. God’s mercy is predictable; it is the fountain that never stops flowing. God’s mercy is unpredictable; it comes to us in surprising forms. God’s mercy is a radical theology, but it is more than a theology; it is life to all who believe. God’s mercy is ultimate comfort, but it is also a call to a brand-new way of living. God’s mercy really does change everything forever, for all upon whom this mercy is bestowed....