Calvin wrote: This is the main hinge on which religion turns, so that we devote the greater attention and care to it. For unless you first of all grasp what your relationship to God is, and the nature of his judgment concerning you, you have neither a foundation on which to establish your salvation, nor one on which to build piety toward God.
I explored that a bit, looking at Hebrews 10:19-22, hoping to show that justification by faith alone means, among other things, that I am not on probation in my acceptance with God, and that my access to God is not based on my performance. There are moments in a sermon when you can sense that you have the attention of your audience. Subjective, to be sure, but I felt that God was speaking to our people in that one point of the sermon.
Isn't it a freeing thing to know that we approach God because of what He did and not because of what we do? Praise God for His salvation!
By the way, the aforementioned Calvin quote came from a superb chapter written by Sinclair Ferguson in the book After Darkness, Light. That chapter alone is worth the price of the book.
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I printed out a good article this morning from the blog dialogos on the subject of quiet time/devotions. I look forward to reading it more thoroughly. I generally prefer to keep my quiet time related to what I am preaching on. But I also enjoy hearing about new ways of keeping time with God fresh.