An Incarnation for a New Creation

“The Incarnation of the Son of God is the terminology used to describe what happened when the second person of the Trinity, the eternal Son of God, “became flesh” as he was miraculously conceived in the womb of the Virgin Mary according to the Bible. In the incarnation, the divine nature of the Son was perfectly united with human nature in one divine Person. This person, Jesus Christ, was both “truly God and truly man.” Theopidia

The Incarnation

“In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.
And the word became flesh
and dwelt among us.”

John 1:1, 14

For what purpose? Could not God from heaven continue His supernatural work by His own Spirit as He had in the Old Testament?

There are many Biblical references to explain why God chose to manifest Himself in the person of Jesus Christ.

The Mediation

Just as there were prophets, priests, and kings in the old covenant as mediators between God and His people, they were not capable to accomplish God’s plan. His intention for the first creation was to have human beings bearing His image. That image was marred, distorted by disobedience to His Word; the relationship that He desired was put on hold.

So, there was a need and the plan for a mediation, which meant that there had to be a dual role, and so Jesus, the second person of the Trinity was born to be the mediator between God and men.

“For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;”
1 Timothy 2:5

He came to fulfill the law, something no other human could do. (Matthew 5:17) As a mediator, He first had to do what the first man failed to do ~ obey the Creator. He had to show a full obedience to the word and will of the law. For thirty-three years He proved His humanity, by being tempted as we are, yet without sin, so that as our sacrifice, He would be offered as a permanent sacrifice for all who believe in Him.

All the promises of God are revealed and fulfilled in Christ. (2 Corinthians 1:20)

God made Him to be our “Go To” for all things. What the law could not do for us, in us, or through us, He does in us through Christ.

Jesus’ words:
He reveals that He was the “bread of life” ~ “the bread of God who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (John6:33-35)

“I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” John 10:10

The one whose birth the shepherds attended, became the good Shepherd .

“The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11

“I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.”
John 10:28

“For this purpose I was born and for this purpose I have come into the world — to bear witness to the truth.
Everyone who is of the truth listens to my voice.”

John 18:37

John’s words:

“… he appeared to take away sins… 1 John 3:5

“The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:b

From the writer of Hebrews we learn that Jesus, in sharing flesh and blood, partaking of the same life as ours would, through death, destroy the one who has the power of death, that is, the devil, and deliver those who were subject to fear of death and the judgment of God. (Hebrews 2:10-15; 1 John 4:17-19)

The New Creation

Jesus, having lived a holy life, became the Lamb of sacrifice for our sins, He took upon Himself our sin and punishment, in exchange for His righteousness. (Romans 3:21-26; Romans 6:23: 2 Corinthians 5:21)images

Through His life and death we are given a new life by the power of His Holy Spirit; sent by the Father to draw us to Christ, He gives us a new heart and spirit. Through the written word of God, the Spirit reveals the living Word in us, and we are born again as a new creation. (Ezekiel 36:26; John 3:3-8; 1 Peter 1:3,21; 2 Corinthians 4:6-7;  2 Corinthians 5:17-19; James 1:18)

He fulfills the image of the Father in us. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:18)

“For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.”
1 Corinthians 15:21-22

In 1 Corinthians 15 we learn that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God. There is first a natural body, a man of dust, inherited from Adam the first man. The spiritual, imperishable man is Jesus Christ, the man of heaven and those who are of heaven ~ born of His Spirit. (John 1:12-13)

“Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven.”
(1 Corinthians 15:42-49)

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law so that we might receive adoption as sons.
(Galatians 4:4-7)

“Emmanuel” ~ God with us was the prophecy of Isaiah 8:10.  “And they shall call his name Immanuel.” Matthew 1:23

“The promised seed shall be Immanuel, God with us; let that word comfort you that God is with us. The strongest consolations, in time of trouble, are those which are borrowed from Christ, our relation to him, our interest in him, and our expectations of him and from him.” Matthew Henry

(There are so many more references in each of these categories of the incarnation, mediation, and new creation. A book has been written already. Please comment with some of your favorites.)

Dear Father, reveal and fulfill your plan for our salvation in and through our Lord Jesus Christ, by the power of your Holy Spirit in us ~ to your glory and our joy.  In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.
Image

The Prickly Pear Tree

The trees with white blooms that  are donning our landscapes this time of year  are Bradford pear trees.

From a distance one tree can appear to be a solid mass.  After the blooms the tree has dark, glossy leaves through the summer; and in the fall the leaves turn to autumn shades and even some of them to a deep maroon.  It is no wonder that this has become a popular tree since it was introduced in America in the 1960s.

We have a volunteer in our yard that grew from a seed from one of the trees in our neighborhood. We never wanted this tree in our yard.  We tried digging it up twice but it came back, and is now nearly 20 feet tall.

Like anything that appears so beautiful from a distance you may not know what is behind and underneath.  Get close to a Bradford pear tree and you will notice a distinct odor.  Get even closer and you will notice the prickly thorns.  They have shallow, but tough roots that can spring up anywhere around the tree.   And these trees do not stay beautiful forever.  After 20 or so years they become top heavy, and split off, sometimes right down the middle. Then there is the expense of cutting the tree down.

These trees remind me of human beauty that is only skin-deep.  If you get closer you will find shallowness, and thorns.  Human beauty without fruit is lifeless; you can look but derive nothing from it.  In time it will break from its own heaviness; and in the end it is good for nothing but to be cut down.

 

The Pear Tree with Fruit

Unlike the Bradford pear the pear tree that bears fruit is not beautiful to look at; but it can still be bearing fruit in its old age, seemingly struggling to bear up under the weight.  Beauty and youth are not what counts in the kingdom of God, but endurance and fruitfulness.  This is proof of the kingdom of God within us. 

The roots run deep, as Christ dwells within the heart; as we are rooted and grounded in His love, comprehending with all saints the breadth, the length, the depth, and height, and knowing the love of Christ, that is beyond knowledge, being filled with His fulness.  Ephesians 3:17-19

“For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant,
and as a root out of a dry ground:
he hath no form nor comeliness;
and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him.” Isaiah 53:2

“O taste and see that the LORD is good:
blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
Psalm 34:8

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman.
Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away:
and every branch that beareth fruit, 
he purgeth it,
that it may bring forth more fruit.

Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit;
so shall ye be my disciples.”  John 15:1-8  

Father, please bear the fruit of your Spirit through us today. (Galatians 5:21-22)
In Jesus name I pray.  Amen

Related Articles: 

The Fruit of Grace
The Beauty of Grace in the Eyes of the Beholder
 
Adorned with Grace

Heirs of the Kingdom (Part 2)

(Thomas Watson on the Second Petition of The Lord’s Prayer ~ Thy Kingdom Come.)

(5) Let the saints long to be in that blessed kingdom. Does not a prince that travels in foreign parts long to be in his own nation, that he may be crowned? The bride desires the marriage day. ‘The Spirit and the bride say, Come: even so, come, Lord Jesus.’ Rev 22: 17, 20. Sure our unwillingness to go hence, shows either the weakness of our faith in the belief of the heavenly kingdom, or the strength of our doubts whether we have an interest in it. Were our title to heaven more clear, we should need patience to be content to stay here any longer.

Again, our unwillingness to go hence, declares we love the world too much, and Christ too little. Love, as Aristotle says, desires union. Did we love Christ as we should, we should desire to be united to him in glory, when we might take our fill of love. Be humbled that ye are so unwilling to go hence. Let us labour to arrive at that divine temper of soul which Paul had:Cupio dissolvi, ‘Having a desire to depart and to be with Christ.’ Phil 1: 23. We are compassed with a body of sin: should we not long to shake off this viper? We are in Mesech, and the tents of Cedar, in a place where we see God dishonoured. Should we not desire to have our pass to be gone? We are in a valley of tears. Is it not better to be in a kingdom? Here we are combating with Satan. Should we not desire to be called out of the bloody field, where the bullets of temptation fly so fast, that we may receive a victorious crown? O ye saints, breathe after the heavenly kingdom. Though we should be willing to stay to do service, yet we should ambitiously desire to be always sunning ourselves in the light of God’s countenance. Think what it will be to be ever with the Lord! Are there any sweeter smiles or embraces than his? Is there any bed so soft as Christ’s bosom? Is there any such joy as to have the golden banner of Christ’s love displayed over us? Is there any such honour as to sit upon the throne with Christ? Rev 3: 21. O, then, long for the celestial kingdom!

(6) Wait for this kingdom of glory. It is not incongruous or improper to long for heaven, yet wait for it. Long for it because it is a kingdom, yet wait your Father’s good pleasure. God could bestow this kingdom at once, but he sees it good that we should wait awhile.

[1] Had we the kingdom of heaven as soon as ever grace is infused, then God would lose much of his glory. Where would be our living by faith, which is the grace that brings in the chief revenues of glory to God? Rom 5: 20. Where would be our suffering for God, which is a way of honouring him which the angels in heaven are not capable of? Where would be the active service we are to do for God? Would we have God give us a kingdom, and we do nothing for him before we come there? Would we have rest before labour, a crown before victory? This were disingenuous. Paul was content to stay out of heaven awhile that he might be a means of bringing others thither. Phil 1: 24.

[2] While we wait for the kingdom, our grace is increasing. Every duty religiously performed, adds a jewel to our crown. Do we desire to have our robes of glory shine brighter? Let us wait and work. The longer we stay for the principal, the greater will the interest be. As the husband man waits till the seed spring up, wait for the harvest of glory. Some have their waiting weeks at court; this is your waiting time. Christ says, men ought to pray, and not to faint. Luke 18: 1. So, wait, and faint not. Be not weary, the kingdom of heaven will make amends for waiting. ‘I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord,’ said the dying patriarch. Gen 49: 18.

Use 7. For comfort to the people of God.

(1) In all their sufferings. The true saint, as Luther says, is haeres crucis, heir to the cross. Affliction is his diet-drink, but this keeps him from fainting, that his sufferings bring a kingdom. The hope of the kingdom of heaven, says Basil, should indulcerate and sweeten all our troubles. ‘If we suffer, we shall also reign with him.’ 2 Tim 2: 12. It is but a short fight, but an eternal triumph. This light suffering produces an ‘eternal weight of glory.’ 2 Cor 4: 17. The more weighty precious things are, the more they are worth, as the more weight in a crown of gold, the more it is worth. Did this glory last for awhile only, it would much abate and embitter the joys of heaven; but it runs parallel with eternity. God will be a deep sea of blessedness, and the glorified saints shall for ever bathe themselves in the ocean. One day’s wearing the crown will abundantly pay for all the saints’ sufferings; how much more when ‘they shall reign for ever and ever!’ Rev 22: 5. O let this be our support under all the calamities and sufferings in this life. What a vast difference is there between a believer’s sufferings and his reward! ‘The sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.’ Rom 8: 18. For a few tears, rivers of pleasure; for mourning, white robes. This made the primitive Christians laugh at imprisonments, and snatch up torments as so many crowns. Though now we drink in a wormwood-cup, there is sugar in the bottom to sweeten it. ‘It is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.’

(2) Comfort in death. That which takes away from God’s children the terror of death, is that they are entering into the kingdom. No wonder if wicked men be appalled and terrified at the approach of death, for they die unpardoned. Death carries them to the jail, where they must lie for ever, without bail or deliverance; but why should any of God’s children be scared and half dead with the thoughts of death? What hurt can death do to them, but lead them to a glorious kingdom? Faith gives a title to heaven, death a possession. Let this be a gospel antidote to expel the fear of death. Hilarion, that blessed man, cried out, Egredere, anima, egredere, quid times? Go forth, my soul, go forth, what fearest thou? Let them fear death who do not fear sin; but let not God’s children be over much troubled at the grim face of that messenger, which brings them to the end of their sorrow, and the beginning of their joy. Death is yours, it is a part of the believer’s inventory. 1 Cor 3: 22. Is a prince afraid to cross a narrow sea, who shall be crowned when he comes to shore? Death to the saints shall be an usher to bring them into the presence of the King of glory. This thought puts lilies and roses into the ghastly face of death, and makes it look amiable. Death brings us to a crown of glory which fades not away. The day of death is better to a believer than the day of his birth. Death is aditus ad gloriam, an entrance into a blessed eternity. Fear not death, but rather let your hearts revive when you think these rattling wheels of death’s chariot are but to carry you home to an everlasting kingdom.

Related articles

Heirs of the Kingdom of Glory

(Thomas Watson on the Second Petition of The Lord’s Prayer ~ “Thy Kingdom Come.”)

Use 6. For exhortation to those who have any good hope through grace. You that are the heirs of this kingdom, let me exhort you to six things:

(1) Often take a prospect of this heavenly kingdom. Climb up the celestial mount; take a turn, as it were, in heaven every day by holy meditation. ‘Walk about Zion, tell the towers thereof, mark ye well her bulwarks.’ Psa 48: 12, 13. See what a glorious kingdom heaven is; go tell the towers, view the palaces of the heavenly Jerusalem. Christian, show thy heart the gates of pearl, the beds of spices, the clusters of grapes which grow in the paradise of God. Say, ‘O my soul, all this glory is thine, it is thy Father’s good pleasure to give thee this kingdom.’ The thoughts of heaven are very delightful and ravishing. Can men of the world so delight in viewing their bags of gold, and fields of corn, and shall not the heirs of promise take more delight in contemplating the celestial kingdom? The serious meditation of the kingdom of glory would work these three effects:

It would put a damp and slur upon all worldly glory. To those who stand upon the top of the Alps, the great cities of Campania seem but small in their eye; so, could we look through the perspective glass of faith, and take a view of heaven’s glory, how small and minute would all other things appear! Moses slighted the honours of Pharaoh’s court, having an eye to the recompense of reward. Heb 11: 26. When Paul had a vision of glory, and John was carried away in the Spirit, and saw the holy Jerusalem descending out of heaven, having the glory of God in it, how did the world after appear in an eclipse to them!

The meditation of the heavenly kingdom would much promote holiness in us. Heaven is a holy place: ‘an inheritance undefiled.’ I Pet 1: 4. It is described by transparent glass, to denote its purity. Rev 21: 21. Contemplating heaven would put us upon the study of holiness, because none but such are admitted to that kingdom. Heaven is not like Noah’s ark, into which came clean beasts and unclean. Only the pure in heart shall see God. Matt 5: 8.

The meditation of the heavenly kingdom would be a spur to diligence. Immensum gloria calcar habet [Glory possesses an immeasurable stimulus]. ‘Always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.’ 1 Cor 15: 58. When the mariner sees the haven, he plies harder with his oars; so when we have a sight and prospect of glory, we should be much in prayer, alms, and watching; it should add wings to duty, and make the lamp of our devotion burn brighter.

(2) If you have hopes of this kingdom, be content though you have but a little of the world! Contentment is a rare thing, it is a jewel that but few Christians wear; but if you have a grounded hope of heaven, it may work your heart to contentation. What though you have but little in possession, you have a kingdom in reversion! Were you to take an estimate of a man’s estate, how would you value it? By what he has in his house, or by his land? Perhaps he has little money or jewels in his house, but he is a landed man — there lies his estate. A believer has but a little oil in the cruse, and meal in the barrel, but he is a landed man, he has a title to a kingdom, and may not this satisfy him? If a man who lived here in England, had a great estate befallen him beyond the seas, and perhaps had no more money at present but just to pay for his voyage, he is content; he knows when he comes to his estate he shall have money enough; so, thou who art a believer hast a kingdom befallen thee; though thou hast but little in thy purse, yet if thou hast enough to pay for thy voyage, enough to bear thy charges to heaven, it is sufficient. God has given thee grace, which is the fore-crop, and will give thee glory, which is the after-crop; and may not this make thee content?

(3) If you have hope of this blessed kingdom, pray often for its coming; say, ‘Thy kingdom come.’ Only believers can pray heartily for the hastening of the kingdom of glory.

They cannot pray that Christ’s kingdom of glory may come who never had the kingdom of grace set up in their hearts. Can the guilty prisoners pray that the assizes may come?

They cannot pray heartily that Christ’s kingdom of glory may come who are lovers of the world. They have found paradise, they are in their kingdom already; this is their heaven, and they desire to hear of no other; they are of his mind who said, If he might keep his cardinalship in Paris, he would give up his part in paradise.

They cannot pray heartily that Christ’s kingdom of glory may come who oppose his kingdom of grace, who break his laws, which are the sceptre of his kingdom, who shoot at those who bear Christ’s name and carry his colours. Surely these cannot pray that Christ’s kingdom of glory may come, for then Christ will judge them; and if they say this prayer, they are hypocrites, they mean not what they speak. But you who have the kingdom of grace set up in your hearts, pray much that the kingdom of glory may hasten; say, ‘Thy kingdom come.’ When this kingdom comes, then you shall behold Christ in all his embroidered robes of glory, shining ten thousand times brighter than the sun in all its meridian splendour. When Christ’s kingdom comes, the bodies of the saints that sleep in the dust shall be raised in honour, and made like Christ’s glorious body; then your souls like diamonds shall sparkle with holiness; you shall never have a sinful thought more, you shall be as holy as the angels; you shall be as holy as you would be, and as holy as God would have you to be; then you shall be in a better state than in innocence. Adam was created a glorious creature, but mutable; a bright star, but a falling star; but in the kingdom of heaven is a fixation of happiness. When Christ’s kingdom of glory comes, you shall be rid of all your enemies; as Moses said, ‘The Egyptians whom you have seen to day, you shall see them no more for ever.’ Exod 14: 13. So those enemies who have sloughed on the backs of God’s people, and made deep their furrows, when Christ shall come in his glory, you shall see no more. All Christ’s enemies shall be ‘put under his feet.’ 1 Cor 15: 25. Before the wicked be destroyed, the saints shall judge them. ‘Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world?’ 1 Cor 6: 2. It will cut the wicked to the heart that those whom they have formerly scorned and scourged, shall sit as judges upon them, and vote with Christ in his judicial proceedings. Oh, then, well may you pray for the hastening of the kingdom of glory, ‘Thy kingdom come.’

(4) If you have any good hope of this blessed kingdom, let it make the colour come in your faces, be of a sanguine, cheerful temper. Have you a title to a kingdom, and are sad? ‘We rejoice in hope of the glory of God.’ Rom 5: 2. Christians, the trumpet is ready to sound, an eternal jubilee is at hand, when a freedom from sin shall be proclaimed; your coronation-day is coming. It is but putting off your clothes, and laying your head upon a pillow of dust, and you shall be enthroned in a kingdom, and invested with the embroidered robes of glory. Does not all this call for a cheerful spirit? Cheerfulness adorns religion. It is a temper of soul that Christ loves. ‘If ye loved me, ye would rejoice.’ John 14: 28. It makes many suspect heaven is not so pleasant, when they see those that walk thither sad. How does the heir rejoice in hope of the inheritance? Who should rejoice if not a believer, who is heir of the kingdom, and such a kingdom as eye has not seen? When the flesh begins to droop, let faith lift up its head, and cause a holy jubilation and rejoicing in the soul.

(Part 2 tomorrow)

A New and True Reflection Of Christ

DSC02891This original picture was taken in Bavaria, Germany. We have never been there.  I duplicated this with my camera from the cover of a Big Ben 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle box.

After separating some pieces of the puzzle, I thought of the many reflections of nature. Then I realized later, as I was praying for the transition of one year to the next, that where there is light and a means of receiving, there will be a reflection of that which is higher, brighter, greater, more powerful and beautiful.

God, our Father has created all things, and the most important of His creation is that which He created in His own image.  Since the Fall that image has been marred—just as a reflection that we see from the sky to the lake is not clear.  But, He has planned, through the giving of His Son, to restore that image for eternity—when all shall be a new heavens and a new earth; and we shall be like Him.

No True Images of Christ in a Picture
Just as I have no true knowledge of Germany, never having been there, there is no true knowledge of Jesus Christ, except as the Father brings (draws – John 6:44-45) us to Him.  No one can paint or draw an image of Christ that will reflect His image in us.  He has to first give us a new heart (Ezekiel 36:16) through which we see Him.  He must draw His own image; only by the power of His Holy Spirit applying His Holy Word to our spirits, hearts, and minds can we be humbled and still, so as to receive His image in us.  And unlike water that only reflects an image, Christ’s image is in us.  The external only reflects what is internally and eternally ours.

My prayer for a new year is that we, as His redeemed children shall know our lowliness and His highest, His power working in us as new creatures in Christ; for a new outpouring of His Spirit; that we may know His light in us, the receiving and reflecting of the nature and disposition of Christ,  yet, somewhat still blurred.

My desire is to desire what He desires; and to be transparent—just as in the picture I do not remember the lake—only the reflection in it.

“For it is the God who commanded light to shine out of darkness,
who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of
the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels,
that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us.”
2 Corinthians 4:6,7

“Beloved, now we are children of God;
and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be,
but we know that when He is revealed,
we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure.

1 John 3:2,3

“As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness;
when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.
Psalm 17:15

The LORD bless you and keep you;  The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you:  The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace” ~~~ “Christ in you,” this year.

Old ~ But New-born

I’m old, and this body is worn.                    
My flesh and my heart have been torn.
Time takes its toll,
And makes me old;
But, praise God, in Christ I’m new-born.

Beautiful-Butterfly

His Spirit transcends all the age,
He has written on every page~
“My Love divine
Has made you mine,
Afflictions and trials assuage.”

beautiful-nature-wallpapers-181

This life will not fail in the test;           
Years prove to us the Father’s best.
Christ is the root;
Seasons of fruit~
His glory, His Life, joy, and rest.

 For Linda, Mary and me; and all the older ones in Christ.
Fran

Divine Contentment

(From Thomas Watson‘s The Art of Divine Contentment)

Epistle to the Reader

Christian Reader,

     Having seriously considered the great dishonor done to almighty God (as well as the prejudice which accrues to ourselves) by the sin of discontent (a universal and epidemic sin), it put me upon the study of this subject at first.  More is it incongruous to handle this next in order to “The Christian Charter) [reprinted by Soli Deo Gloria in The Sermons of Thomas Watson], I showed you there the great things which a believer has in reversion.  Things to come are his, and here behold a Christian’s holy and gracious deportment in this life, which reveals itself in nothing more eminently than in being content.

     Discontent is to the soul as a disease is to the body: it puts it out of temper and much hinders its regular and sublime motions heavenward.  Discontent is hereditary, and, no doubt, is much augmented by the many sad eclipses and changes that have fallen out of late in the political body, yet the disease is not to be excused because it is natural, but resisted because it is sinful.  That which should put us out of love with this sullen distemper is the contemplation of the beautiful queen of contentment.

     For my part, I do not know of any ornament in religion that more bespangles a Christian, or glitters in the eye of God and man more, than this of contentment.  Nor certainly is there anything wherein all the Christian virtues work more harmoniously or shine more transparently than in this orb.  Every grace acts its part here.  This is the true philosopher’s stone, which turns all into gold.  This is the curious enamel and embroidery of the heart, which makes Christ’s spouse all glorious within.  How should every Christian be ambitious to wear such a sparkling diamond!

     If there is a blessed life before we come to heaven, it is the contented life.  And why not be contented?  Why are you angry, and why is your countenance fallen?  Man, of all creatures, has the least cause to be discontented.  Can you deserve anything from God?  Does He owe you anything?  What if the scene were to turn and God put you under the blackrod?  Whereas He now uses a rod, He might use a scorpion.  He might as well damn you as whip you.  Why, then, are you discontented?  Why do you give way to this irrational and hurtful sin of discontent?  May the good Lord humble His own people for nourishing such a viper in their breast as not only cuts out the bowels of their comfort, but spits venom in the face of God Himself!

     Oh, Christian, if you are overspread with this fretting leprosy, you carry the man of sin about you, for you set yourself above God and act as if you were wiser than He, and would sassily prescribe to Him what condition is best for you!  Oh, this devil of discontent which, whenever it possesses a person, makes his heart a little hell!

     I know there will never be perfect contentment in this life.  Perfect pleasure is only at God’s right hand, yet we may begin here to tune our instrument before we play the sweet lesson of contentment exactly in heaven.  I should be glad if this little piece might be like Moses’ casting the tree into the waters, to make the bitter condition of life more sweet and pleasant to drink of.

    I have once more ventured to address the public.  I acknowledge this work to be homespun.  Some better hand might have made a more effective draft, but, having preached upon the subject, I was earnestly solicited by some of my hearers to publish it, and although it is not dressed in that rich attire of eloquence as it might have been, I am not about poetry or oratory, but divinity.  Nor is this intended for fancy, but practice.

     If I may herein do any service, or cast but a mite into the treasury of the church’s grace, I have my desire.  The end of our living is to live to God, and to lift up His name in the world.  May the Lord add an effectual blessing to this work and fasten it as a nail in a sure place.  May He, of His mercy, make it as spiritual medicine to purge the ill humor of discontent out of our hearts, so that a crown of honor may be set upon the head of religion, and the crystal streams of joy and peace ever run in our soul.  This is the prayer of him who is desirous to be a faithful orator for you at the throne of grace,

Thomas Watson

From my study at Stephens, Walbrook
May 5, 1653

The Art of Divinie Contentment
http://www.heritagebooks.org/the-art-of-divine-contentment/
or available online http://www.ccel.org/ccel/watson/contentment.html