Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | December 3, 2018

“It was at this time that He (Jesus) went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.”

Today’s devotion comes from Luke 6:12-19.

“It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.  And when day came, He called His disciples to Him and chose twelve of them, whom He also named as apostles:  Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother;  and James and John;  and Philip and Bartholomew;  and Matthew and Thomas;  James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot;  Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Jesus came down with them and stood on a level place;  and there was a large crowd of His disciples, and a great throng of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon, who had come to hear Him and to be healed of their diseases;  and those who were troubled with unclean spirits were being cured.  And all the people were trying to touch Him, for power was coming from Him and healing them all.”  Luke 6:12-19.

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We can follow Jesus’ example and pray in the middle of the night.  We can also read Scripture in the middle of the night.

Sometimes, in the middle of the night, God will convict me of a specific sin.

“3 When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away
Through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me;
My vitality was drained away as with the fever heat of summer.  Selah.”  Psalm 32:3-4.

And, God will grant me repentance and cause me to get up from my bed and pray, confess my sin, and repent.

“I acknowledged my sin to You,
And my iniquity I did not hide;
I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”;
And You forgave the guilt of my sin.  Selah.”  Psalm 32:5.

Other times, I will wake up around 1:00 am to 2:00 am, or thereabout, for about 20 minutes to read the Scripture and write brief notes about what I think that I will write for the daily devotion that I will write the next day.

But late last night about 5:00 a.m., I woke up feeling empty and distant from the Lord.  I thought it was best to get up to pray.

As soon as I knelt to pray, the Lord graciously and immediately remind me of the topic of our Sunday Bible Study class yesterday:  “Preservation of the Saints” also known as “Perseverance of the Saints”, the “P” of “TULIP”, the Reformed Doctrine of Salvation.  I instantly felt better and amazed at the providence of God to cause the timing of that topic to be the answer to my prayer.

I then went to my Reformed Doctrine Daily Devotions website and the “head note” section and link titled “TULIP” and read what I wrote about “Preservation of the Saints”.  I then edited this section to add verses.  It all further comforted me greatly.  Here is the link if you want to check out “Preservation of the Saints” under the following “TULIP” link – https://reformeddoctrine.com/tulip/

Article 3.  By reason of these remains of indwelling sin, and the temptations of sin and of the world, those who are converted could not persevere in a state of grace, if left to their own strength.  But God is faithful, who having conferred grace, mercifully confirms, and powerfully preserves them herein, even to the end.

Article 9.  Of this preservation of the elect to salvation, and of their perseverance in the faith, true believers for themselves may and ought to obtain assurance according to the measure of their faith, whereby they arrive at the certain persuasion, that they ever will continue true and living members of the church;  and that they experience forgiveness of sins, and will at last inherit eternal life.  The above Articles 3 and 9 are in the FIFTH HEAD OF DOCTRINE Of the Perseverance of the Saints of Canons of Dordt.

In conclusion, we cannot trust our feelings, but we can trust God’s Word.  We cannot trust our actions including even our prayers, but we can trust God’s providence.  We cannot trust our perseverance on our own strength, but we can trust God’s preservation of us which includes God continuing to give us grace and causing us to persevere, even to the end.  

“For the LORD loves justice
And does not forsake His godly ones;
They are preserved forever,
But the descendants of the wicked will be cut off.”  Psalm 37:28.

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely;  and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.”  1 Thessalonians 5:23-24.


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