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EMW Daily Devotion – 20 August 2020

19 August 2020 | by William Gurnall | Luke 2

…behold, I bring you good news of great joy

Luke 2:10

The news from heaven

What is meant by the Gospel? According to the original word, it signifies any good news or joyful message … But usually in Scripture it is restrained, by way of excellency, to signify the doctrine of Christ, and salvation by him to poor sinners …

The revelation of Christ, and the grace of God through him, is without comparison the best news and the joyfulest tidings that poor sinners can hear. It is such a message as no good news can come before it, nor no ill news follow it. No good news can come before it, no, not from God himself to the creature. He cannot issue any blessing to poor sinners until he has shown mercy to their souls in Christ … God forgives and then he gives … Again no ill news can come after the glad tidings of the Gospel, where it is believingly embraced. God’s mercy in Christ alters the very property of all evils to the believer …

Five ingredients are desirable in a message … First, for a message to be joyful it must be good. No one rejoices to hear evil news … Second, it must be some great good, or else it has but little effect … Third, this great good must intimately concern them that hear it … Although we often rejoice to hear of some great good that has come to another, it affects us much more when it comes to us … Fourth, it adds to the joyfulness of the news if the tidings come to us as a surprise … Fifth, to complete the joy of all these, it is most necessary that the news be true and certain. Otherwise all the joy will be over … All these ingredients happily meet together in the Gospel, and makes the joy of the believing soul touch the highest point that his affections can possibly bear.

— William Gurnall, The Christian in Complete Armour, Vol. 1, pp. 479-481 (B.T.)

From Daily Devotions from the Puritans – the 1997 Bryntirion Press book by I.D.E. Thomas​