Lack of Self-denial

daily-devotionalsI cannot wonder that Peter should fall into temptation when he cannot endure to watch with Christ. He must learn more to deny himself before he can take up his cross. The nights of the resolved martyr must be spent in the study of patience and not in the security of ease. He must first be a persecutor of himself and exercise a holy cruelty on his own flesh, by crucifying the lusts thereof before he is able to overcome the wiles and the inventions of his tormentor, in holy and undaunted patience. The soul must first be raised to heaven before the body can be willing to go down into the earth. If Peter had watched and accompanied Christ, he might have received further encouragement in his resolution to die for him (Matthew 26:40). He might have learned from the extremity of his anguish, if not to hate life, at least willing to embrace the present opportunity to glorify God by death. How often the love of our flesh and ease deprives us of occasions to do well. Every man would love God more if he could love self less (Colossian 3:5).

Dr. Edward Reynolds was born in 1599 in Southampton, England. He received his BA degree at Oxford in 1618. In 1622, before studying for his masters, Reynolds became a chaplain to the king and preacher at Lincoln’s Inn, London. The puritanical inclinations of Dr. Reynolds were well known; his character of piety and decorum were evident even in his college years. Edward Reynolds is known as the Bishop of Norfolk, but he was bishop for only the final fifteen years of his life and ministry. Prior to that he was the rector of Braunston, Northamptonshire, for almost thirty years. Although Reynolds was a Presbyterian by conviction, he had a reputation of moderation in his church polity. This was evidenced in his role in the Westminster Assembly. He was the only member to sit on all three of the major committees on the Confession of Faith, and with his moderate spirit provided balance in the discussions.

These devotions are taken from the works of Edward Reynolds. They have been edited for © 2013 thinkgospel.