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Daily devotional

March 24 - Preparing by serving

“Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, saying, “I have both glorified it and will glorify it again.” - John 12:27, 28 Scripture reading: John 12:26-36 As we draw near to those great days of remembrance for all Christians: Palm Sunday, Good Friday, and Easter, let us prepare our hearts by reflecting on the saving work of the Lord Jesus and His cross. By His life and death, Jesus glorified the Father. He showed us God's everlasting love, His grace and His mercy. In His prayer in John 12, Jesus showed His concern was that He would glorify the Father's name. By the resurrection, the Father glorified the Son. We believers know that the divine Son of God obediently accomplished His Father's will. He gave His life on our behalf. The cross is a sign of Christ's victorious obedience. It is a symbol of God's glorious love. By faith let us share, as His disciples, Jesus' will and spirit. Let us come to know our purpose: that like our Master we are to serve the Lord. By our faith, let us glorify the Name of God. Let us find in our hearts the glory of the cross. We find wonder and inspiration in the work of Jesus. God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself (2 Corinthians 5:19). May our response to Christ, our faith in Him, motivate us to serve Him in loving obedience, taking up our cross and following Him. This is our challenge, as we remember all that Jesus did. May we, as humble disciples, follow our Master by living in wholehearted service to our God. Suggestions for prayer Pray that the Lord will open your eyes to opportunities for service. Pray for spiritual strength to live a life that glorifies God. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 23 - Preparing by escaping the curse

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”).” - Galatians 3:13 Scripture reading: Galatians 3:1-14 Paul quotes Deuteronomy 21:22. as he explains to us that Christ suffered a death cursed by God. He bore all that pain and shame in order to deliver us from the curse of sin because by nature we are all under that curse. When life’s tragedies cause us to realize how real that curse is, we need to remember that the Lord Jesus walked the way of the cross. He was crucified, hung upon that tree, and His blood was shed. He willingly took upon Himself that horrible curse, so that we would never have to carry it. Consequently, Christian, in your time of trouble, if you are called to endure a season of sorrow, when life's difficulties confront you, and you feel the dark cloud of sin's curse hanging over you, remember that the Lord Jesus was crucified to redeem you, and all His chosen ones, from that curse. As you prepare to mark Good Friday, turn your heart to the Saviour with confidence and hope. In Him, find pardon full and free. In your Saviour, find strength for today and power to live as His disciple in a very unChristian age. Let your heart be filled with wonder that Christ Jesus so loved us that he suffered and died for us an accursed death. By that death He secured our full redemption. Praise God, Christian, in and through all circumstances, that your life is no longer under the curse! Jesus took that curse off you because He bore it all the way to Calvary's cross. Suggestions for prayer Ask the Holy Spirit to move in your heart so that you will know the spiritual joy that comes when a believer feels the curse of sin taken away by the power of Jesus' sacrifice. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 22 - Preparing with a motive

“For great is Your mercy toward me, And You have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.” - Psalm 86:13 Scripture reading: Psalm 86:1-13 As we look ahead to the great events of salvation, which we remember and celebrate on Good Friday and Easter, our thoughts turn to the intensity of Jesus' suffering, and the pain He endured at the cross. What is the motive that caused God Himself to make such a sacrifice? Why did Jesus willingly walk the road of suffering for our salvation? Psalm 86:13 reveals that motive. It was God's great mercy. Because of that divine mercy, God sent His Son Jesus, Who paid the price of our ransom at Calvary. This is the Lord's sovereign work. Our text declares, “You have delivered my soul...” We cannot boast in human strength here, for only God has the power to save. It is God's marvellous, irresistible grace that draws us out of sin, out of the old self of sin. So great is God's mercy, that it motivates the Almighty to stoop down and save even you and me! Yes, God's great mercy caused the Lord to win salvation for us, His chosen ones. As we look ahead to Good Friday and Easter, let us prepare by thanking God for His mercy. Let us celebrate His mercy so full and free. For the great, saving work of Jesus, there is a motive, a reason, and that is God's great mercy. Once again we witness from the words of Scripture the greatest story ever told: the Gospel of salvation. We humbly receive the saving benefit of Christ's sacrificial death, and we rejoice in His glorious resurrection. Suggestions for prayer Give the Lord wholehearted thanks for His mercy displayed to us in His Son, our Saviour. Make this a time of prayer focusing on thankfulness Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 21 - Preparing with a reconciled heart 

“…for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” - Luke 19:10 Scripture reading: Luke 19:1-10 The great work entrusted to the Son of God, when He came into this world, was and is to reconcile His chosen people, to the Lord God Almighty. That was the Father's plan from before creation to save His elect from the sin into which the human race had plunged itself through the disobedience of Adam and Eve. Luke 10:1-10 is a story of reconciliation. Zacchaeus, the public sinner, is reconciled to God and man. Amazing! So unexpected! Zacchaeus is reconciled because Christ Jesus came into his life and changed all things. Remember, dear reader, such reconciliation is not just something for a man who met Jesus long ago, but it is also a necessity for us. We must recognize that it is only through the ministry of Jesus that such reconciliation is possible. God calls us to be reconciled, and only through faith in Christ and all that He accomplished by His death and resurrection is this possible. How can you be reconciled to God? Confront your sin and be confronted by the perfect Saviour, Jesus. Confess your sin, seek forgiveness in Jesus' name, and receive forgiveness. God will forgive those who are reconciled to Him. Now and always be reconciled to God. As forgiven sinners, we rejoice in our salvation, which Christ won for us, which we will soon remember on Good Friday. We live in hope, because of the power and glory of Jesus' resurrection, which we soon celebrate at Easter. May your heart and life, like Zacchaeus', be restored to God's favour. Suggestions for prayer Pray that your sins be covered by the shed blood of Christ, our Saviour, and that through Him you will be eternally reconciled to God. Thank the Lord for the restoration of life that we have in Jesus. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 20 - Preparing as a sheep of the Good Shepherd 

“He will feed His flock like a shepherd; He will gather the lambs with His arm, And carry them in His bosom, And gently lead those who are with young.” - Isaiah 40:11 Scripture reading: Isaiah 40:1-11 Jesus said, I am the good shepherd (John 10:11). As we prepare our hearts to remember the climax of His earthly ministry, it is good that we do so with this fact clearly in mind: Jesus is the Good Shepherd. We are His sheep. Far too often we are wandering sheep. “All we like sheep have gone astray,” declares Isaiah (Is. 53:6). We need the Good Shepherd to guide, lead and protect us. It is a humbling experience to admit that by nature we are poor, wandering sheep, but that is our spiritual reality. We must humbly admit that we are saved, not by our own righteousness, nor by our human abilities. It is our Good Shepherd Who saves us and feeds us by His Word and Spirit. He Himself is our food, the very bread of life (John 6:55). To hungry souls the promise of our text is so sweet, as our Saviour promises to feed us. That promise is sure and we experience it in a deep, spiritual way every time we share in Holy Communion! He gathers, carries and leads His sheep. We can depend on the Lord Jesus to care for us. What a blessing the sheep of the Good Shepherd enjoy! Day by day then, humble yourself, acknowledge that you are a sheep in need of a shepherd. By faith find that Shepherd, place your trust in Him and all that He accomplished for your salvation. Rejoice, Christian, to be a sheep of the Good Shepherd's flock. Suggestions for prayer Ask the Spirit to work within you to humble your heart, so that you will find your place in the Lord's flock as one of His sheep. Thank the Lord for feeding, gathering, carrying and leading you on through life. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 19 - Four marks

“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.” - Acts 2:42 Scripture reading: Acts 2:29-47 It's the Lord's Day. God calls you to worship Him. As you do so, you should see in yourself and in the church that you attend, four characteristics that are described in our text and were clearly seen in the gatherings of the first Christians in Jerusalem. The first mark is “they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine.” Our calling as Christians is to be faithful to the truth of God's Word. Do you truly believe what the Bible says? Does the church you attend faithfully adhere to the teachings of Scripture? Some, with the name of church, openly deny the authority of Scripture. A true Christian's calling is to continue steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine, all of it. That is needful for any group to be a true church of Jesus Christ as well. The second mark is fellowship. Sharing in the full life of a Christian community is vitally important for spiritual life and growth. The church is the family of God and to cut yourself off from that family is a major step toward spiritual disaster. How is the walk of your discipleship when it comes to fellowship? The third mark is the breaking of bread. If you have an opportunity to partake of the Lord's Supper this Sunday, do so well-prepared and in good conscience. The fourth mark is prayer. It is a privilege to share a prayer time with fellow Christians in God's House. Personal and public prayers are vital to a rich, vibrant spiritual life. Suggestions for prayer Pray that your Sunday will truly be the Lord's Day, as you worship with fellow believers in a church that steadfastly continues in all of the apostles' doctrine. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 18 - Preparing for an exam

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me, and know my anxieties; And see if there is any wicked way in me, And lead me in the way everlasting.” - Psalm 139:23, 24 Scripture reading: Psalm 139:1-24 How fortunate we are that other people cannot read our hearts and minds. Our employers, employees, teachers, students, preachers, parents and children, none of them can truly know what's in our hearts and minds. We are safe, except, of course, that God can read our thoughts and He knows exactly our innermost feelings. David comments on this in Psalm 139. By the inspiration of the Spirit, David declares that the Lord is all-knowing and everywhere present (verses 1-12). He knows all because He is our Creator (verses 13-18). God sees the evil of the wicked and will visit them in judgment (verses 19-22). Then, in our text, David requests that the all-knowing Lord examine him. How did David dare do this? He knew that God would see his sins and weaknesses. Yet David had confidence that God's examination would reveal that he was a child of grace. It was well with his soul because God had forgiven him and made him righteous by grace alone. David also asks that, after examining him, that God would lead him “in the way everlasting.” As you prepare to worship the Lord in His church tomorrow, search your heart and life. In that examination, reflect on the fact that God knows your inmost thoughts and feelings. Then seek from the Lord His grace and forgiveness, and pray for His guidance as He leads you onward in “the way everlasting.” A good start is to attend worship services tomorrow on the Lord's Day. Suggestions for prayer Ask the Holy Spirit to lead and guide you each step of life's way and to help you prepare for worship tomorrow in the midst of the communion of the saints. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 17 - Preparing with God’s comfort

“Comfort, yes, comfort My people!" says your God. “Speak comfort to Jerusalem, and cry out to her, That her warfare is ended, That her iniquity is pardoned; For she has received from the Lord's hand double for all her sins.” - Isaiah 40:1, 2 Scripture reading: Isaiah 40:1-11 Through all of life, comfort is a major goal we all want. Life in this world is rough: aches, sorrows, disappointments and stress. Every one of us experiences our share of these negatives. How thankful we are that the message of Scripture is so comforting to those who are disciples of Jesus. We can and should live our lives reflecting upon the ministry of Jesus as upheld by the comfort of the Lord. To us, who come to Christ by faith, the prophet declares that God speaks in a tender voice. In that voice, God tells us through the Gospel that our warfare has ended, not because we have no earthly struggles, but because Christ Jesus is victorious! Our iniquity is pardoned because of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. What of the future? The “double” that the prophet declares God's people receive is not a double punishment, nor a declaration of, “you get what your sins deserve.” Rather it is a promise that God's people receive from the Lord a double blessing; sins are forgiven and a new life begins! Do you worry about the past? If you believe in Christ, the message is comforting: your sins are pardoned. Do you worry about the future? Our text promises every disciple a double blessing: a forgiven past and a present and a future in which you, by faith, live a new life in Christ. What wonderful comfort God gives to His people! Prepare to celebrate the great deeds of our Saviour in the joy of this comfort. Suggestions for prayer Thank the Lord for the daily comfort He gives you through the gracious promises of Scripture and above all, through the saving ministry of Jesus. Pray for the opportunity to share this comfort and joy with others around you. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 16 - Preparing by looking

“…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” - Hebrews 12:2 Scripture Reading: Hebrews 12:1-11 Life is busy. If we're honest, we confess there is a danger that spiritual preparation gets lost in the shuffle. How important, then, is the admonition of Hebrews 12 that it is time to get serious about our spiritual life. Hebrews 12:2 teaches that we do this by “looking unto Jesus.” We look, or “fix our eyes” on, what we consider important. We are to look to Jesus, “the author and finisher of our faith,” the very source of our faith. His sacrifice at the cross saves us. He bestows light and life in the power of His resurrection. We find our completeness in Him. His complete righteousness becomes ours by faith. As the Apostle Paul declares in Colossians 1:28, we are “perfect in Christ Jesus.” In our busy lives, we are called to spiritual preparation. As you look forward to celebrating Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter, use every opportunity to grow in God's grace. Follow the inspired advice of today's Scripture reading: throw off all hindrances of sin, run the race marked out for you, and look unto Jesus, fix your eyes on Him. These spiritual steps are not optional. It is basic Christianity. Don't fix your eyes on your own unworthiness, nor on others whom we can so easily criticize, but look to Jesus, and make Him the centre of your spiritual attention. Look to Him as your Saviour, Who sustains your life and Who promises you a place with Him in His heavenly kingdom, where our eyes shall truly behold Him. Suggestions for prayer Ask the Lord to give you wisdom to look in the right place and to the right Person, as you live day by day. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 15 - Preparing our hearts

“...rend your hearts and not your garments..” - Joel 2:13 Scripture reading: Joel 2:1-14 A Christian's goal is fellowship with the Lord. The prophet Joel encourages us onward toward that goal, even as his message encouraged the people of his own day. Joel told the people that God was interested in their hearts more than in outward actions. The ancient Israelites would weep, fast and rend their garments as a sign of grief and repentance, but all too easily these outward actions were just that, outward, with no spiritual meaning. The prophetic message that God gave to Joel is clear: when you draw near to God be sure that you are sincere. As we live before the Lord today and all the days that He will give us, we must make sure that our relationship with the Lord Jesus is not just a going-through-the-motions, but rather a matter of our repentant heart and renewed mind. Our reading from Joel also contains a marvellous assurance from the Lord. When we rend our hearts and not our garments, verse 13 tells us, God will be gracious. He will be merciful, tender and compassionate, blessing us in love. He will be slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love, providing for our salvation and all our needs, physical and spiritual, because He loves us. The goal is fellowship with the Lord. To experience this, exercise your faith and return to the Lord. Christ has opened the way by His sacrificial death. Repent in all sincerity and do so in the good hope of receiving God's blessings of forgiveness, mercy, and love. Suggestions for prayer Make your request to the Lord that He would lead you in the path of fellowship with Him through the sacrifice of Jesus. Praise Him for His forgiveness, mercy and love. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 14 - Preparing by denying, taking up, and following

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” - Luke 9:23 Scripture reading: Luke 9:18-27 A basic step in discipleship is self-denial. If Jesus really comes first in your life, then you must deny yourself. Self-denial requires the use of the word NO. We are called to say NO to sin and Satan. Consider your life. Do you see a pattern of you saying NO to sin? Discipleship has a price and a vital part of the price is denying yourself. A further needed step is taking up your cross daily. Jesus' one atoning sacrifice on the cross is unique, unrepeatable. For us, taking up our cross is different. We are not earning salvation, rather this is the Lord's call to costly discipleship. It means enduring physical pain, sorrow, or stress. We take up our cross because it causes us to come to the Lord casting our burdens and cares upon Him. In our text we also see the Gospel call of Jesus: Come, follow me! It is a call to a meaningful life, a call to service, and to experience the love of the Lord. To respond to that call in covenant obedience is the most important decision we will ever make in our earthly life. It is a decision that requires the other two steps: self-denial and taking up the cross. As we look ahead to Good Friday and Easter, and consider our path this week, let us be spiritually prepared. Respond to Jesus' call to follow Him. Find sweet fellowship with the Saviour as you learn more and more to deny yourself and to take up your cross daily. Suggestions for prayer Seek the guidance of the Lord and His strength to learn self-denial. Ask for wisdom to deal with life as a disciple who willingly takes up the cross. Pray for grace to respond affirmatively to Jesus' call to follow Him. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 13 - Preparing with mercy

“Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” - Matthew 5:7 Scripture reading: Matthew 5:1-12 Christians realize the need for the mercy of God. The Lord Jesus went to the cross, suffered and died because His heart was merciful to us. In our text, the Lord speaks about this much-needed virtue. He told the crowd on the Galilean hillside and us today, that we have a responsibility. If we want inner peace, true happiness and satisfaction, we need not only desire to receive God's mercy, but we need to be merciful ourselves. In a world filled with hate and cries for vengeance, we must show mercy to those who have wronged us. In a world filled with suffering and pain, we must reach out to others and help them in their distress. When you speak and act, you must judge your words and actions by the standard of mercy. Daily we pray to experience God’s mercy as we ask Him for pardon and for grace. Then we realize that Jesus's words are of utmost importance to us: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.” Today, recommit yourself and your ways to the Lord. To do this, Jesus says that you must be merciful. Are you? It takes a heart willing to give up sin to live a Christ-like life. It takes God's all-powerful help. In your words and deeds today and every day show that you are a true disciple. Be merciful to those around you. By God's grace we can be merciful and so we shall experience the mercy of our Saviour in a measure rich and full. Suggestions for prayer Seek the working of the Spirit to soften your heart and to guide you so that you can be a faithful disciple, showing mercy to those with whom you come in contact at home, at work, at school, at church, wherever you might be.  Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 12 - Invited and ready

“For many are called, but few are chosen.” - Matthew 22:14 Scripture reading: Matthew 22:1-14 In Jesus' parable, the guests came because they received a royal invitation. Yet, some didn't care; some reacted negatively. Others were invited right off the street. The king provided all that was needed for these guests to clean up, but when he entered, one man was still in his old, dirty clothes; he had not put on the new robe the king had provided. This man had no excuse for not wearing the robe given by the king. He had not valued the invitation highly enough to make himself ready. When the king called him to account, the man was speechless. He had no reason to be there without wedding clothes on. The king had him thrown out. The penalty was severe, but just. Jesus taught the people that it is not just the invitation that matters, but also the readiness of the guests. Today, you are invited to church for worship. Many will ignore the invitation. Will you? Perhaps you will come to church, but are you ready, clothed in the righteousness of Christ? Like the king in the parable, the Lord God not only invites, but He also notices who has come into His presence clothed aright. Turn to the Lord in true repentance. Trust the Saviour with true faith. It is the humble, trusting soul, the disciple who is following Jesus, who is clothed with the robe of salvation. Wearing that robe, we can enter into God's House and worship Him in spirit and in truth. You are invited. Make sure that you are ready. Suggestions for prayer Ask the Lord to give you the grace and wisdom you need to prepare to worship Him this day in spirit and in truth. Pray for those who ignore the King's invitation that they may be converted. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 11- Preparing with the Lord’s favour

“Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation…” - Psalm 51:11, 12 Scripture reading: Psalm 51:1-19 Few today know what it is to be “cast out.” We live in a very tolerant society, but in other places and times, it was different. To be cast out was like a sentence of death. Whole nations were cast out of their homes and left to perish. It is a tragedy repeated far too often in human history. King David knew the feeling of being cast out. He recognized that his sin had evil results and feared that he would lose God's favour and that God's Holy Spirit would be taken from him. This terrible feeling drove him to seek the Lord and His grace in prayer. We should learn from this. Too often our souls can be dull. We take it for granted that God's Holy Spirit is happily dwelling in our hearts. The fact is: sin disrupts our fellowship with God. When we turn away from the Lord in self-righteousness, or neglect the means of grace provided for us in the church, we will soon feel a spiritual emptiness and lack a good conscience. David could not accept this spiritual loss. He had sinned, but he turned to the Holy Spirit Who could restore him to God's favour. That blessed restoration resulted in David again experiencing the joy of the Lord's salvation. As another week ends and you prepare for worship in God's House tomorrow, may you seek the blessing of the Spirit's work of applying Jesus' righteousness to you, so that you too will experience the Lord's favour and the joy of His salvation. Suggestions for prayer Seek to experience the Lord's favour by asking the Spirit to apply Jesus' righteousness to you and allow you to know the Lord's favour. Pray for spiritual wisdom which recognizes the importance of public worship, which the church provides tomorrow. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 10 - Heartfelt preparation

“...because your heart was penitent...I also have heard you, declares the Lord.” - 2 Kings 22:19 Scripture reading: 2 Kings 22:1-20 A major part of our faith and our response to God is found in our inner life. People around us hear our words and see our actions, but God alone reads our hearts. When we stifle our deep and powerful heartfelt feelings toward God, we do ourselves spiritual damage. That is certainly true when it comes to repentance. Those who deaden their hearts, deny their inner struggles and train themselves to be unfeeling, have great difficulty here, because repentance involves our total being as we turn away from the world and toward the Lord Jesus Christ. We see this in 2 Kings 22. The Law of the Lord convicted King Josiah of his sin and the sin of his people. The king had a reaction. Outwardly he tore his clothes, a public action and custom of his day. That outward action, however, was not merely a custom, rather it was the result of what was going on in the heart of the king. His heart was truly penitent as he wept. He humbled himself before the Lord. His outward actions were a reflection of his inner struggle of soul and of his repentance. In a few weeks, we will mark Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter. Many will outwardly celebrate with chocolate bunnies and coloured Easter eggs and nothing more. God grant that our celebration be far different! May all that Christ Jesus accomplished move us deeply. Like Josiah, let us turn to the Lord with penitent hearts. The Lord Jesus receives the penitent in His overflowing grace! Suggestions for prayer: Express your sincere penitence with prayer that humbly seeks the Lord's forgiveness. Seek His divine help to banish pride, worldliness and stubbornness from your heart and life. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 9 - Preparing in humility

“For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.” - Luke 18:14b Scripture reading: Luke 18:1-14 The Lord Jesus, in this parable, states that the way to righteousness is the way of humility. The tax collector, by very definition in those days, a sinner, does not try to deny his sin. He confessed his sin, cried out to God for mercy and trusted in God's gracious pardon. He knew that he had no merits to claim, no deals to make; he just asked to be forgiven. So it was, says Jesus in the parable, that the tax collector went to his house, right with God. God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble. The tax collector found the way of righteousness, and peace with God. It is the way of humility: confessing one's sin and finding the sure hope of pardon in Jesus Christ, Whose sacrifice on the cross is the means by which pardon is given. As we look forward to the days of Christian remembrance, particularly Good Friday and Easter, may our hearts and souls be stirred to appreciate the grace of God. Let us be humbled, as we realize that only the perfect sacrifice of the Saviour could pay the price of our pardon. Remember that God does not forgive you because you feel you are better than others, or because you have said or done enough to merit His pardon. What every sinner needs is to humbly confess his sins, trust in Christ's power to forgive through His sacrifice on the cross, and then live in humble obedience each day as thankful recipients of God's amazing grace. Suggestions for prayer Ask the Holy Spirit to move powerfully upon your heart and in your life, so that you may know your need of pardon and humbly seek that pardon where it is found: through the power of Christ's sacrifice. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 8 - Preparing with forgiveness

“Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.” - Isaiah 1:18 Scripture reading: Isaiah 1:10-18 The sweetest word for the sinner is – forgiveness. The forgiveness that Jesus merited for us is the most blessed gift that a sinful human can receive. No earthly treasure can compare with forgiveness, because it is the doorway through which we can enter into fellowship with God. God does not ask the impossible. The plan handed to us by God to receive His pardon is reasonable. It is based on divine love, so great that the Father sent His Son to die for our sins. In return, the Lord asks us to recognize our sins, repent and come to Jesus in faith. This is truly a most reasonable plan. Those who respond to this call of God find His pardon and a wonderful fellowship with Him. What a blessing it is to be forgiven! We find peace with God and the joy of knowing that our hearts and lives, once stained by sin as red as scarlet, are now by the power of Christ's death and resurrection washed clean, as white as snow. As you look forward to remembering the days of Christ's passion, His death, and His glorious resurrection, do so knowing that by trusting in Him you share in the divine blessing of forgiveness. By the power of the Spirit, be part of the fellowship of forgiveness. Have peace with God. Be calm in your soul. Be steady in your faith. Trust God's promise that He looks upon you, not as a stained sinner, but as one washed clean in Jesus' blood. Suggestions for prayer Make a heartfelt prayer for forgiveness part of your daily devotions. Also request the indwelling power of the Lord to assure you that His pardon is real in your heart and life. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 7 - Preparing with joy

“Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” - Nehemiah 8:10b Scripture reading: Nehemiah 8:1-12 There are many devout Christians who are burdened with grief for their sins. Like the people gathered in Jerusalem in the days of Nehemiah and Ezra, who heard the law of the Lord and wept, these Christians know the burden that sin placed on them. It was a burden so heavy that only the perfect sacrifice of Jesus upon the cross could lift it from their souls. Sadly, there are those who reflect more upon the burden of their sin than upon the liberating sacrifice of our Lord Jesus. This is a dreadful error, because it causes them to endure endless grief and guilt. They are continually downcast and spiritually uneasy. This is needless and contrary to God's desire. Just as the repentant Jews, who wept when Ezra read the law, were told not to grieve, the Lord tells us that, when we repent and look to Jesus and His atoning sacrifice offered upon the cross, we also should not grieve. Grief and guilt result in spiritual weakness, which is easily exploited by the power of the evil one. The Lord calls us to believe that He is merciful in accepting the atoning sacrifice of His Son for the salvation of His people. What a joyful message! If you believe, then your sins are forgiven and you should find joy in that Gospel message. The joy that God gives to His pardoned people is a source of spiritual strength. May you know that blessed joy of the Lord and so be strengthened for each step of your life's journey. Suggestions for prayer Pray that the Lord will protect you against the schemes of the devil as he tries to fill you with grief and guilt. Seek the assurance of the Holy Spirit that, looking to Jesus in faith, you are truly forgiven and be filled with joy in that assurance. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 6 - Preparing in righteousness

“Tell the righteous it shall be well with them.” - Isaiah 3:10 Scripture reading: Isaiah 3:1-13 Next month, we will mark Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter. The message of the saving work of Jesus is so important that we should not reserve it for contemplation only on those special days. It is a message that must touch our hearts, souls and lives every day! In our text, the Lord addresses the righteous. Are you among that number? You do not become part of this group by your actions and words, or work your way into this blessed fellowship. Only through Jesus’ sacrificial death and glorious resurrection, can you, by faith, share in the blessing of being justified and declared righteous in God's sight. Our text also reveals a wonderful blessing that the righteous receive: “it shall be well with them.” Those who, by grace, are made righteous in Christ will surely face times of trial, oppression and persecution in this world, but are safe in the righteousness bestowed by Christ and freed from the curse of sin. They enjoy an inner joy, peace with God and hope for a marvellous future in Christ's heavenly kingdom. Indeed, it shall be well for those who, saved by grace, through faith, are accounted righteous before God. Seek out God's assurance that you share in the righteousness of Christ, by faith. Repent of your sins and look to Jesus for pardon. Knowing that you have received the blessing of imputed righteousness, be assured that, no matter what earthly trials you may have to endure, ultimately in God's good time, it will be well with you for all eternity. Suggestions for prayer Ask the Lord to work in your heart that, as a repentant believer, you may have the blessed assurance of which the prophet spoke. Pray for daily outpourings of God's grace to uphold you and yours through life's trials. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 5 - Preparing with love and fear

“I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you.” - Psalm 5:7 Scripture Reading: Psalm 5:1-12 David, under God's inspiration, speaks here of going to the tabernacle to worship the Lord. What David said speaks to us this Sunday as we worship the Lord at church. God's house of prayer is a special place: dedicated to the public worship of the Almighty. Here we listen to God's Word preached, sing praises to God, have public prayer and share in the sacraments. Our text urges us to worship in the proper spirit, today and at every service of Christian worship. We, like David, can enter God's house aright, because in His divine love, God has laid His sovereign claim upon us. Those who by faith know God's steadfast love are true worshippers and will receive a blessing. The proper spirit of worship also includes godly fear, that wholehearted respect and devotion, which is a hallmark of a true believer. When we fear the Lord, turning to Him respectfully, in awe of His majesty and amazed by His glory, then our worship is genuine and God pours out a blessing upon us as we appear in His courts. God's love and our reverent fear are basic to true and blessed worship. May your heart be prepared with such love and fear today as you go to church and as you prepare for the days of Christian remembrance in the month ahead. It is God's steadfast love that motivates us to come and worship, and our godly fear of Him provides the proper spirit in which we gather together in church this Lord's day. Suggestions for prayer Thank God for His wondrous love, which brought you into fellowship with Him and His people. Pray for a spirit of godly fear to fill your heart as you join in public worship today. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

Daily devotional

March 4 - Preparing by breaking

“And he broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made, for until those days the people of Israel had made offerings to it.” - 2 Kings 18:4b Scripture reading: 2 Kings 18:1-8 During Israel's 40 years in the wilderness, God commanded Moses to make a bronze snake as a remedy for a plague of poisonous serpents. The people of Israel kept that bronze serpent for some 800 years. There was nothing sinful in that bronze snake itself, but in disobedience, the people of Israel had turned it into an idol. They thought there was power in it and they worshipped it. At last King Hezekiah, realizing the problem, took drastic action: he broke that bronze serpent in pieces. He destroyed that originally good thing, which had become an idol for the people. As we prepare to mark the days of Christ's passion in the month ahead and in our whole walk of life with the Lord, we must consider how we view and use, or misuse, the good blessings of God. Anything: a house, a car, a job, a vacation, money itself can become an idol if we love it more than we love the Lord. Also, as Jesus declared in the Gospel, anyone: a wife or husband, a father or mother, children, a boyfriend or girlfriend, yes (!) any human being whom we love more than the Lord has become an idol in our hearts. By the power of the Spirit, recognize anything or anyone in your life that has become an idol. Then, by the power of the Lord, break it like King Hezekiah broke the snake. Dash in pieces the power of the idol that would damage your love for the Lord, which must come first in your hearts and lives. Suggestions for prayer In humble prayer ask the Lord to show you what has become an idol in your heart and life. Then ask for power from on high to break the power of that idolatry, so that love for the Lord will come first in your soul. Rev. Gregg V. Martin was ordained to the Gospel ministry in 1977. In his years of service, he pastored a total of five congregations in three Canadian provinces. He also served for more than seven years in Latin America as a missionary, providing leadership training in Reformed mission churches. Get this devotional delivered directly to your phone each day via our RP App. It is also available in print, for purchase, at NTGDevotional.com.  ...

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