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Daily Devotionals

John Gossner's Treasury

Devotional: November 30th

Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. Psalms 139:23-24. Shew me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Psalms 25:4. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my heart. Psalms 26:2.

There is no deception we poor human beings are more subject to than self-deception. Alas! we deceive ourselves often in the most important matter of our salvation. The psalmist felt this deeply; otherwise the 139th psalm would hardly have been written. In this psalm we find the best guidance to self-examination. We seem to have the best intentions in regard to ourselves; yet it is much wiser to seek the counsel of God and pray Him to "prove" our intention and to investigate how in reality we mean it. Yea, he who earnestly desires his own salvation and is loth at last to see himself deceived by his own heart, should often present himself before the all-seeing eye of God and pray: “O Lord, Thou knowest me better than I know myself; Thou knowest what dwells in my heart; Thou lookest into the inner recesses of my heart into which my prejudiced eye does not penetrate: reveal unto me all that which is not pleasing to Thee!” One can not conceive of anything so terrible as a man deceiving himself; and yet it happens so often. Consider once in real earnestness what you do. Do not rely on yourself. Lay your heart open before God with earnest and ardent prayer that He may interest Himself in you, disclose all which is false and deceptive in you, all by-considerations and all deceptive manners, and that He may lead you in the way of truth and purity. No godly person must think himself excused from doing this; for no one is free from deception unless he, through watchfulness and prayer, is made free therefrom by the Lord.

Grant us, dear Lord, from evil ways

True absolution and release;

And bless us more than in past days

With purity and inward peace.

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