Previous Devotional Studies
Bible Thoughts & Themes — Index Page * Featured Study *
The first two chapters gave us creation's perfection. Like a newly finished statue, there it stands. The chisel has given its last touch. The sculptor is satisfied; pronounces it very good, and rests. All is fair. Earth is like heaven. But now the descent begins.
Are We Sanctified? — Index Page
It is a question of the utmost importance to our souls. If the Bible be true, it is certain that unless we are "sanctified," we shall not be saved. There are three things which, according to the Bible, are absolutely necessary to the salvation of every man and woman in Christendom. These three are, justification, regeneration, and sanctification.
Devotions or Devotion?
By Charles Finney
What True Devotion To God Is
Devotion is that state of the heart in which everything, our whole life, being, and possessions, are a continual offering to God, that is, they are continually devoted to God. True devotion must be the supreme devotion of the will, extending out to all we have and are, to all times, places, employments, thoughts, and feelings.
Let your own ideas of what a pastor ought to be illustrate my meaning. You most likely believe that a pastor, in preaching the Gospel, should have only one purpose in mind, to glorify God by the salvation (and later the sanctification) of sinners. Since he professes to be a servant of God, you feel that he ought to study, preach, and perform all his ministerial duties, not for himself, not for his salary, not to increase his popularity, but only to glorify God. Now you can easily see that if he does not have this singleness of eye, his service cannot be acceptable to God. For it is not an offering to God, it is not a devotion to God, but a devotion to himself.
Devotion then, in a pastor, is that state of mind in which all his pastoral duties are performed for the glory of God and where his whole life is a continual offering to God.
Again, you feel that a minister ought to be as devoted to God in everything else as he is in praying or preaching, and in this you are right! For he not only ought to be, but really is only as devoted in the pulpit as he is out of the pulpit. If he is influenced by selfish and worldly motives during the week, then these same motives are surely in his heart on the Sabbath. If during the week his thoughts are centered upon his own interests, endeavoring to promote himself, you can be sure it's the same on the Sabbath.
You most likely also feel that if a minister's devotion is merely an outward farce, that he preaches, prays, visits, and performs all his duties mainly for the purpose of supporting his family, or to get honor and attention for himself, you would say that he was a wicked man, and unless he is converted he would inevitably lose his soul.
If these are your views on the subject, they are undoubtedly correct. Here, where you have no personal interest, you form a right judgment and decide correctly concerning the character and destiny of such a man. Now remember, nothing short of this standard is devotion in you! Bear it in mind that no particular acts or zeal or gushings of emotion, or resolutions to change, or promises of future obedience, constitute devotion.
For devotion is that state of the will in which the mind is swallowed up in God as the object of its supreme affection, in which we not only live and move in God, but for God. In other words, devotion is that state of mind in which the attention is diverted from self and self-seeking, and is directed to God, the thoughts, purposes, desires, affections, and emotions all hanging upon, and devoted to, Him.
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