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What are the marks of a true shepherd?

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What are the marks of a true shepherd?

(Arthur Pink, 1939)

“Be an example to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

How diligently should those who think of entering the ministry, scrutinize their motives; for thousands have abused this Divine institution through love of ease, desire for authority and fame, or love of money–and brought upon themselves “greater condemnation” (James 3:1). Thousands have invaded the pastoral office in an unauthorized manner–to fleece sheep rather than feed them–robbing Christ of His honor and starving His people. 

Solemn beyond words is it to observe how sternly our Lord denounced these false shepherds of His day. (Matthew 23). As Ryle rightly said, “Nothing seemed so offensive to Christ as a false shepherd. Nothing ought to be so much feared by the Church, and be so plainly rebuked, opposed and exposed.”

What are the marks of a true shepherd? How are God’s people to identify those called and qualified by Him to minister unto His people? 

First, the genuine pastor has the doctrine of Christ on his LIPS. The ministers of the new covenant are described as those who had “renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness.” Christendom today is infested with men who are full of deceit and hypocrisy, trimming their sails according to whatever direction the breeze of public opinion is blowing. 

“We have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God.” (2 Corinthians 4:2). The true servant of Christ holds back nothing which is profitable, no matter how unpalatable it may be unto his hearers. He is one who magnifies not himself, nor his denomination, but Christ–His wondrous Person, His atoning blood, His exacting claims. 

Second, the genuine pastor has the Spirit of Christ in his HEART. It is the Spirit who opens to him the mysteries of the Gospel, so that he is “the faithful and wise servant” (Matthew 24:45). It is the Spirit of Christ who gives him a love for His sheep, so that it is his greatest delight to lead them into the green pastures of His Word. It is the Spirit of Christ who enables him to use “great boldness of speech” (2 Corinthians 3:12), so that he shuns not to declare all the counsel of God. It is the Spirit of Christ who makes him to be “prepared in season and out of season; to correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2). It is the Spirit of Christ who gives efficacy to his ministry, making it fruitful according to the sovereign pleasure of God. 

Third, the genuine pastor has the example of Christ in his LIFE, which is a conforming of him to the image of his Master. It is true, sadly true, that there is not one of them who does not fall far short both of the inward and outward image of Christ. Yet there are some faint tracings of His image visible in all His true servants. The image of Christ is seen in their words, spirit, and actions; otherwise we have no warrant to receive them as God’s servants.

Find a man (no easy task today!) who has . . .
   the doctrine of Christ on his lips,
   the Spirit of Christ in his heart,
   the example of Christ in his life,
and you find one of His genuine ministers. All others are but thieves and robbers!

#2 ✞ 28 Motives to Love Jesus!

Red Love logo with reflection 

28 Motives to Love Jesus!

(Thomas Doolittle, “Love to Christ Necessary to Escape the Curse at His Coming!” 1693)

#2. Is not Jesus the most SUITABLE GOOD for you? 

Is liberty so suitable to a captive man, or bread to a hungry man, or health to a sick man, or ease to a suffering man–as Jesus is to a sinful man? Were you not lost, undone and in danger to be eternally damned? Jesus was your Savior, your Keeper and your Redeemer. “The Son of man came to seek and to save that which was lost!” “Therefore He is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by Him.” Jesus is “Mighty to save!”

Were you not ignorant, dark and blind, not knowing the way to Heaven and eternal happiness? Did not you weary yourself trying to find the gate of life, and yet missed it when you had done all you could? Jesus became your Teacher and your Guide, to infallibly direct you to Heaven. He anointed your eyes with His eye-salve, even though you were born blind, and then He gave you spiritual sight. Now you are able to see your lost estate, the beauty of Jesus, and the way of salvation.

Were you not sick, and full of spiritual diseases–abounding with soul-ailments? Were you not sick and near to eternal death? Jesus was your able and skillful Physician. None whom He has undertaken to cure, has ever yet perished under His hands. For rather than you justly die of your soul’s disease, He made a potion for you out of His own blood, which, when you drank it, you were made totally well. Therefore He came to be your soul-physician, that He might save incurable sinners like yourself.

Were you not indebted to God? Did not you owe millions to Him, yet had not a penny to pay? If God were to demand payment from you, would it not have proven your damnation? If His justice were to pursue you, and death arrest you–would not your soul be seized and thrown into the prison of Hell, from where you would never have been delivered, until you had paid the last penny you owe, which would never be? But now that Jesus has loved you, He has become your Substitute and made full payment for your unpayable sin-debt!

Were you not spiritually polluted and vile? Had not the leprosy of sin spread over your understanding, your will, your conscience, your memory and all your affections? So that you were defiled all over, and lay wallowing in your blood, cast out because you were so loathsome to God? In this filthy state, you could never enter into the holy kingdom of God. But Jesus loved you, took away your filthy rags, and gave you a change of clothing made of His perfect righteousness. You said to Him, “Lord, if You will, You can make me clean.” He in love said to you, “I am willing, be clean!” He bathed you in His own blood, and cleansed you from all your sins. Yes, though your sins were as scarlet, they became as white as snow; though they were red like crimson, they became as white as wool.

Were you not a captive to Satan and to sin–drudging elbow deep in the loathsome service of sin? Was not your bondage worse than that of the Israelites in Egypt? And were not Satan and sin as cruel and tyrannical as Pharaoh and his task-masters? Did you not love your chains of sin? Were you not at ease in your shackles? Do you remember how Jesus released you from your fetters? Jesus became your Redeemer and made you free–and then you were free indeed!

Were you not an enemy to God? You were born His enemy, and then continued to live as His adversary. Had you died in this condition, your soul would have been alienated from God forever. But now Jesus has become your blessed peacemaker, and by the blood of His cross He reconciled you to God.

Were you not spiritually dead? Had you not lost the holy image of God? Though you were dead, Jesus gave you spiritual life and eternal glory.

Now, if this was your desperate condition, and Jesus helped you in every respect–then how suitable is He to you? Is not His suitableness to you a foundation for love, and a motive to love Him? What an argument is this to win your heart to Jesus!

You were lost, but Jesus saved you! You were ignorant, but Jesus taught you! You were sick, but Jesus healed you! You were polluted, but Jesus cleansed you! You were a captive to sin and Satan, but Jesus freed you! You were an enemy of God, but Jesus reconciled you! You were spiritually dead, and Jesus gave you spiritual life!

Oh, you never found one so suitable for you! Now, even now, He should be loved by you. O, Jesus is the most excellent object for your love, and you should no longer withhold your devotion from Him. 

Reaping

Amen! 🙏 😀

-Word- pictures by DLink

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Here, sowing to the flesh means pandering to the flesh’s evil desires.  Corruption is the word meaning degeneration, as in decaying food.  Sin always corrupts and, when left unchecked, always makes a person progressively worse in character.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Galatians 6:8.


748b16lZRHkThis expression describes not only a life that endures forever but, primarily, the highest quality of living that one can experience.

Commentary from the MacArthur study Bible, notes for Galatians 6:8.

To learn more about salvation and Jesus, see the tab Jesus

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We do not know what we might have been!

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We do not know what we might have been!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“God is our refuge and strength–a very present help in times of trouble.” Psalm 46:1

We do not know what we might have been–if God’s gracious protection had not been like a wall of fire around us, as it still is–for the Lord continues to deliver all who put their trust in Him. 

Believe with unquestioning confidence that God is delivering you even now. You know that He has delivered you–be just as sure that He will continue to help you in every time of trouble.

“I am locked in a prison of despair!” Yes, but your Lord has a key that can open the door and let you out. 

“I am in great poverty!” another says. But He knows all about it, and He is going to supply all your needs. 

Yet another says, “But I am fainting!” God is near, ready to revive and encourage your fainting soul.

Perhaps a person says, “I find faith for the past and the ultimate future quite easy, but I don’t have enough faith for the present.” We sometimes forget that God is “a very present help in times of trouble,” but it is true. 

There may be many trials before you, but there is an abundance of mercy ready to meet those trials. There may be troubles that you do not know yet, as well as repetitions of those you have experienced. But the Lord will give you strength and will continue to deliver you.

As the eyes gradually fail, and the limbs grow weak, and the infirmities of old age creep over us–we are likely to be distressed, but our Lord will not forsake us. 

When severe sickness invades our earthly bodies and our pains multiply and intensify–we wonder how we will endure.

As we consider our death–we wonder how we will be able to bear our last hours. 

Be encouraged: He who has delivered and does deliver–will continue to deliver. 
Even as the trial comes, the Lord will show you a way of escape.

He has delivered you–give Him your gratitude. 
He is delivering you–give Him your confidence. 
He will deliver you–begin now to praise Him for mercies that He has yet to show you, and for grace that you have not yet experienced but that He will grant you in the future.

“He has delivered us from such a deadly peril–and He will deliver us!” 2 Corinthians 1:10 

#1 ✞ 28 Motives to Love Jesus!

Red Love logo with reflection 

28 Motives to Love Jesus!

(Thomas Doolittle, “Love to Christ Necessary to Escape the Curse at His Coming!” 1693)

#1. Can you find a more EXCELLENT OBJECT for your love, than Jesus?

If you search through the whole creation, could you find any like Him? Are riches, honors, pleasures, or other relationships comparable to Jesus, whom you ought to love supremely? Should not the highest good be the best object of your love? Can you love lesser things, and not the greatest good? Is not all the goodness in the creature but as a drop compared to the sea, as a candle compared to the sun, as a speck of sand compared to a mountain–when compared to the goodness that is in Jesus? If David were worth ten thousand other men–then is not Jesus, David’s Lord, better than all the world?

The Lord is My Shepherd!

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The Lord is My Shepherd!

(J.R. Miller, 1905)

“The LORD is my shepherd; I have everything I need!” Psalm 23:1 

“He will feed His flock like a shepherd. He will carry the lambs in His arms, holding them close to His heart. He will gently lead the mother sheep with their young!” Isaiah 40:11

The shepherd is a favorite Scriptural picture of the divine love and care. In the Old Testament, the twenty-third Psalm gathers the whole wonderful truth in exquisite lines which are dear to young and old wherever the Bible is known. Then in the New Testament, when our Lord would give His friends the sweetest revealings of His heart toward them, and tell them what they are to Him and what He would be to them, He says, “I am the Good Shepherd.”

The Hebrew shepherd lives with his sheep. If they are out in the storm–he is with them. If they are exposed to danger–so is he. Just so, Christ lives with His redeemed people. He enters into closest relations with them.

The shepherd knows his sheep. He has a name for each one and calls them all by their names. Just so, Christ knows each one of His friends–He has intimate personal knowledge of each one. He knows the best in us–and also the worst. He knows our faults, our sins, our wanderings. Yet, knowing us as we are–He loves us still and never wearies of us!

The shepherd is most gentle with his sheep. He does not drive them–but goes before them and leads them. When they need rest on the way–he makes them lie down, and chooses for their resting-place, not the dusty road–but green pastures. He is especially kind to the lambscarrying them in His arms, holding them close to His heart. All this is an exquisite picture of the gentleness of our Good Shepherd in His care of His sheep. Whatever the need is, there is something in the heart of Christ which meets its craving and supplies its lack! 

The shepherd defends his flock in all danger. Often he had to risk his own safety, even his life, in protecting his sheep. Just so, the Good Shepherd gives His life for His sheep!

Christ’s sheep are absolutely safe in His keeping. “I give unto them eternal life,” He said; “and they will never perish–ever! No one can snatch them out of My hand!” 

Then at last, He will bring His own all safely home, “and they shall become one flock, with one Shepherd!”

The most potent force for the production of virtue!

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The most potent force for the production of virtue!
(Charles Spurgeon)

“The HOPE which is reserved for you in Heaven.” Colossians 1:5 

Our hope in Christ for the future, is the mainspring and the mainstay of our joy here on earth.It will animate our hearts to think often of Heaven, for all that we can desire is promised there. 

Here on earth we are weary and toil-worn. Yonder is the land of rest, where the sweat of labor shall no more bedew the worker’s brow, and fatigue shall be forever banished. To those who are weary and woe-worn, the word “rest” is full of Heaven.

We are always in the field of battle. We are so tempted within, and so molested by foes without–that we have little or no peace! But in Heaven we shall enjoy the victory, when the banner shall be waved aloft in triumph, and the sword shall be forever sheathed, and we shall hear our Captain say, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Enter into the joy of your Lord!” 

We have suffered bereavement after bereavement–but we are going to the land of the immortal, where graves are unknown things. 

Here on earth, sin is a constant grief to us–but there we shall be perfectly holy, for nothing which defiles shall enter into that pure kingdom! Hemlock does not spring up in the furrows of celestial fields. 

Oh! is it not joy, that we are not to be in a state of banishment forever–that we are not to dwell eternally in this wilderness, but shall soon inherit everlasting glory!

Nevertheless let it never be said of us, that we are dreaming about the future–and forgetting the present. Let the future sanctify the present to highest uses. Through the power of the Holy Spirit, the hope of Heaven is the most potent force for the production of virtue! It is a fountain of joyous effort–it is the cornerstone of cheerful holiness. 

The man who has this hope in Jesus goes about his work with vigor, for the joy of the Lord is his strength. He fights against temptation with ardor, for the hope of the next world repels the fiery darts of the adversary. He can labor without present reward, “for here we do not have an enduring city, but we are looking for the city that is to come!” Hebrews 13:1
 
“The hope of eternal life, which God, who does not lie, promised before the beginning of time!” Titus 1:2 

“While we wait for the blessed hope–the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ!” Titus 2:13 

“Having been justified by His grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.” Titus 3:7 

The wedding feast!

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The wedding feast!

(Octavius Winslow

“Let us be glad and rejoice and honor Him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and His bride has prepared herself.” Revelation 19:7 

Jesus sustains no relation to His Church more expressive than this. From all eternity He betrothed her to Himself. He asked her at the hands of her Father, and the Father gave her to Him. He entered into a covenant that she should be His. The conditions of that covenant were great, but not too great for His love to undertake. They were that He should . . . 
  assume her nature, 
  discharge her legal obligations, 
  endure her punishment, 
  repair her ruin, and 
  bring her to glory! 

He undertook all, and He accomplished all–because He loved her! 

The love of Jesus to His Church, is the love of the most tender husband. It is . . . 
  exclusive, 
  constant, 
  affectionate, 
  matchless, 
  wonderful. 

Jesus . . . 
  sympathizes with her, 
  nourishes her, 
  provides for her, 
  clothes her, 
  watches over her, and 
  indulges her with the most intimate and endearing communion. 

The Lord Jesus will come in the clouds of Heaven, and this will be the occasion of His public wedding of His Church. Her presentunion to Him is secret and unknown–invisible to the world. But He will appear, openly and visibly to take her to Himself; and before His Father and the holy angels He will solemnize her eternal union.

Oh what a time of splendor and of rejoicing will that be! Arrayed in His nuptial robes, Jesus will descend to make her His own; and she, “prepared as a bride adorned for her husband,” will go forth to meet Him. Then will be heard the song of angels, “Let us be glad and rejoice and honor Him. For the time has come for the wedding feast of the Lamb, and His bride has prepared herself.” 

Yes! “Blessed are they who are called unto the wedding feast of the Lamb.”

Three rules for a happy marriage

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Three rules for a happy marriage

(J.C. Ryle, “The Gospel of Mark” 1857)

Of all relationships of life, none ought to be regarded with such reverence and none taken in hand so cautiously, as the relationship of husband and wife. 

In no relationship is so much earthly happiness to be found, if it is entered upon discreetly, advisedly, and in the fear of God. In none is so much misery seen to follow, if it is taken in hand unadvisedly, lightly, wantonly, and without thought. 

From no step in life does so much benefit come to the soul, if people marry “in the Lord.” From none does the soul take so muchharm, if imagination, passion, or any mere worldly motive is the only cause which produce the union. 

There is, unhappily, only too much necessity for impressing these truths upon people. It is a mournful fact, that few steps in life are generally taken with so much levity, self-will, and forgetfulness of God, as marriage. Few are the young couples who think of inviting Christ to their wedding! 

It is a mournful fact that unhappy marriages are one great cause of the misery and sorrow of which there is so much in the world. People find out too late that they have made a mistake, and go in bitterness all their days. 

Happy are they, who in the matter of marriage observe three rules: 

The first is to marry only in the Lord, and after prayer for God’s approval and blessing. 

The second is not to expect too much from their partners, and to remember that marriage is, after all, the union of two sinners, and not of two angels

The third rule is to strive first and foremost for one another’s sanctification. The more holy married people are, the happier they are.

❤️ Yay…It’s Our 13th Wedding Anniversary! ❤️

There is no more lovely, friendly or charming relationship, communion or company, than a good marriage. – Martin Luther

Sarah i wedding photo

⇧ Me & Sarah ⇧ 

Each time our wedding anniversary comes round, i can’t believe how much our marriage has grown more and more fruitful. Our love keeps blossoming through every season and i thank God for Sarah.!

My heart overflows with love for her, she encourages, inspires and loves me in spite of all my faults, She is the sunshine that warms me along my journey. I really don’t have enough words to fully express how blessed i am to have my best friend as my wife to cherish and share every moment of this amazing life.

Sarah Sunflower Rounded

This is the chorus for the song i wrote for Sarah….

You’re the love I thought I’d never find,
Your smile is like the warm sunshine,
As our souls, slowly entwine!
You light the heavens in my mind!

God’s Word…..

Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love that Jesus Christ has for His bride, the church..

FullSizeRender

“Your love delights me, my treasure, my bride. Your love is better than wine, your perfume more fragrant than spices.” —Song of Solomon 4:10

“Kiss me and kiss me again, for your love is sweeter than wine.” —Song of Solomon 1:2

“You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace.” —Song of Solomon 4:9

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails…” —1 Corinthians 13:4–8

1 Me and Sarah gugging at room 112

I thank God for sustaining our marriage in Purity and Truth. And look forwards to more of this Brobdingnagian adventure!

Sarah & i infront of the yellow 1961 Uniog

Sarah & i in Love Heart

At His Disposal

Amen! 🙏 😀

-Word- pictures by DLink

Romans 12;1

As Christians our bodies are separated unto the Lord, and we no longer make claims as to how or when or where we serve.  As living sacrifices we can no longer ignore the King’s desires with the excuse that “my time” is precious to me.  All that we are is placed at His disposal.

Commentary from, “You Are Gifted”, Bible study by Ken Hemphill.

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I began to read the Holy Scriptures upon my knees

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I began to read the Holy Scriptures upon my knees

(George Whitefield)

My mind being now more open and enlarged, I began to read the Holy Scriptures upon my knees, laying aside all other books and praying over, if possible, every line and Word. This proved food indeed and drink indeed to my soul. I daily received fresh life, light and power from above. I got more true knowledge from reading the Book of God in one month–than I could ever have acquired from all the writings of men!


“I went to my room and locked my door, and putting the Bible on a chair, I went down on my knees at the chair. There I remained for several hours in prayer and meditation over the Word of God; and I can tell you that I learned more in those three hours which I spent in this way, than I had learned for many months previously.” George Muller

“Oh, how I love your law! I meditate on it all day long!” Psalm 119:97 

The Righteousness of God

Amen! 🙏 😀

Overcoming The Times

Romans 5 explains that all of us inherited a sin nature from the first man, Adam. Despite our best efforts, none of us can redeem ourselves. In a world where people are applauded on a Performance-Based system, giving to charities, feeding the hungry, graduating at the top of our class, and earning our company millions of dollars can not cover the negative consequences of us taking on the identity of being things like: liars, thieves, murderers with our words, adulterers, envious of others, and arrogant.

Today I want to inform the unsaved and remind the believer that from the moment that sin entered into the world and polluted the heart of man, God began putting a plan into place to deliver us all. God loves You and I, and because He knows the sin nature is too great for any mortal man or woman to overcome in their own strength…

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Too wise to err–and too loving to be unkind!

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Too wise to err–and too loving to be unkind!

(Arthur Pink, “The Sovereignty of God”)

Because God is righteous–His judgments fall upon those who rebel against Him.

Because God is faithful–the solemn threatenings of His Word are fulfilled. 

Because God is omnipotent–none can successfully resist Him, still less overthrow His counsel. 

Because God is omniscient–no problem can master Him, and no difficulty baffle His wisdom. 

Faith endures “as seeing Him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27) Faith endures the disappointments, the hardships, and the heart-aches of life–by recognizing that all comes from the hand of Him who is too wise to err–and too loving to be unkind

So long as we are occupied with any other object than God Himself–there will be neither rest for the heart, nor peace for the mind. But when we receive all that enters our lives as from His hand–then, no matter what may be our circumstances or surroundings–whether in a hovel, a prison-dungeon, or a martyr’s stake–we shall be enabled to say, “The lines have fallen unto me in pleasant places!” (Psalm 16:6). But that is the language of faith–not of sight or of sense.

There is no higher aspect of faith, than that which brings the heart to patiently submit unto whatever God sends unto us; to meekly acquiesce unto His sovereign will; and to say, “Shall I not drink the cup of suffering which my Father has given me?” Faith when it reaches the pinnacle of attainment declares, “though He slays me, yet will I trust in Him!”

“Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine!” Luke 22:42 

The Scriptural view of sin!

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The Scriptural view of sin!


ALLEINE: O miserable man, what a deformed monster has sin made you! God made you “little lower than the angels”–but sin has made you little better than the devils!


BEART: There is a certain infiniteness in sin, because it is against an infinite God, which therefore brings a punishment of infinite duration, because it cannot be atoned for by finite creatures.


BROOKS: Did God leave us to act according to our sinful natures–we would all be incarnate devils, and this world would be an absolute Hell!
  There is no little sin–because there is no little God to sin against.


EDWARDS: You contribute nothing to your salvation–but the sin which made it necessary!
  Never did God so manifest His hatred of sin, as in the death and suffering of His only begotten Son.


FLAVEL: Christ is not sweet–until sin is made bitter to us!
  If God should damn you to all eternity–your eternal sufferings could not satisfy for the evil that is in one vain thought! O the depth of the evil of sin!


HODGE: Original sin is the only rational solution of the undeniable fact of the deep, universal and early manifested sinfulness of men in all ages, of every class, and in every part of the world.


JAMES: The torments of the bottomless pit are not so dreadful a demonstration of God’s hatred of sin, as the agonies of the cross!


LOVE: Sin is worse than Hell, because sin made Hell to be Hell.


MANTON: Sin is sweet in commission, but bitter in its wages!
  The more affected we are with our sinful misery–the fitter we are for Christ’s marvelous mercy.


MASON: Sin digs graves for bodies, and kindles Hell for souls!
  A man can never leave sin thoroughly, until he loathes it heartily.
  Go to Golgotha and see what sin did there!
  Christ did not die for sin, that we might live in sin.
  The sins of the wicked anger Christ, the sins of His people grieve Him.


NEWTON: The more vile we are in our own eyes–the more precious Christ will be to us!
  Sin cannot be hated for itself–until we have seen the malignity of it in Christ’s sufferings!


OWEN: The seed of every sin–is in every heart!
  Christ’s blood is the great sovereign remedy for sin-sick souls!
  I do not understand how a man can be a true believer–in whom sin is not the greatest burden, sorrow and trouble!

PRICE: We drown our sins in the Red Sea of Christ’s blood!


RYLE: Christ is never fully valued, until sin is clearly seen.


SIBBES: The depths of our misery–can never fall below the depths of God’s mercy!
  Sin is not so sweet in the committing of it–as it is bitter in the reckoning of it. 
  It is evident that our conversion is sound–when we loathe and hate sin from the heart.


SPURGEON: If Christ has died for me–then I cannot trifle with the sin which killed my best Friend!
  What sin is worth being damned for?
  If you have lived like the wicked–then you will die like the wicked, and be damned like the wicked!
  Look to the cross, and hate your sin–for sin nailed your Well-Beloved to the cruel tree!
  Sin is self-damnation!
  As salt tinges every drop in the ocean–so does sin affect every atom of man’s nature!
  There is no cure for the love of sin–like the blood of Christ!


WATSON: Sin has the devil for its father, shame for its companion, and death and damnation for its wages!

Ichthus (The Fish Symbol)

Amen! All Glory is His! 😀

Faith

From https://www.compellingtruth.org/Christian-fish-symbol.html: The fish symbol is often accompanied by an acrostic of Greek letters—the first five letters of five Greek words: Iesous, Greek for “Jesus”; Christos, Greek for “anointed”; Theou, Greek for “God’s”; uios, Greek for “Son”; and sōtēr, Greek for “Savior”. Together, this spells ICTHUS, which as an acrostic means “Jesus Christ, God’s Son, the Savior.”

Jesus called disciples who were fishermen and told them to follow Him and He would make them fishers of men in Matthew 4:19. As His children, we are called to follow Him as well.

Three Steps in Serving the Lord

  • Follow the Lord (Matthew 6:33) This is a personal decision. (John 3:16 & Joshua 24:15)
  • Evangelize to everyone (Mark 16:15) This was our Lord’s command.
  • Live out the truth (1 Peter 3:15 & 2 Peter 3:11) Make a conscious decision to not let anyone or anything get in…

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The life-buoy!

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The life-buoy!

(Charles Spurgeon, “Christ Is All”) 

Whatever trials you have, my dear brother, Christ is all in all to meet them. 

Are you poor? He will make you rich in your poverty by His consoling presence. 

Are you sick? He will make your bed in your sickness, and so will make your sick-bed better than the walks of health. 

Are you persecuted? If it is for His sake, you may even leap for joy. 

Are you oppressed? Remember how He also was oppressed and afflicted; and you will have fellowship with Him in his sufferings. 

Amidst all the vicissitudes of this present life, Christ is all that the believer needs to bear him up, and bear him through. No wave can sink the man who clings to this life-buoy; he shall swim to glory on it!

Jesus is all I need!
  Jesus is . . . 
  the living water to quench my thirst, 
  the heavenly bread to satisfy my hunger, 
  the snow-white robe to cover me, 
  the sure refuge in times of trouble, 
  the happy home of my soul, 
  my food and my medicine, 
  my solace and my song, 
  my light and my delight. 

The believer can say, “Christ is mine!” No emperor is half as rich as the beggar that has Christ! He who has Christ, being a pauper, has all things. And he who has not Christ, possessing a thousand worlds, possesses nothing for real happiness and joy! 

Oh, the blessedness of the man who can say, “Christ is mine!”

Your salvation makes amends for all His sufferings!

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Your salvation makes amends for all His sufferings!

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(Samuel Davies, “The Sufferings of Christ, and Their Consequent Joys and Blessings“)

“He shall see His seed! He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied!” Isaiah 53:10-11 

Jesus is now exalted to His throne in the highest heavens; and from thence He takes a wide survey of the universe. He looks down upon our world–and beholds kings in their grandeur, victorious generals with all their power, nobles and great men in all their pomp. But these are not the objects that best please His eyes. “He shall see His seed!” He sees one here, and another there, bought with His blood, and born of His Spirit; and this is the most delightful sight our world can afford Him. Some of them may be oppressed with poverty, covered with rags, or ghastly with famine; they may make no great figure in mortal eyes; but He loves to look at them! He esteems them as His children, and the fruits of His dying pangs!

The happiness of His exalted state consists in a great degree, in the pleasure of seeing the designs of His death accomplished in the conversion and salvation of sinners!

His eyes are graciously fixed upon this assembly today! And if there is one of His spiritual seed among us, He can distinguish them in the crowd. 
He sees you
 drinking in His Words with eager ears! 
He sees you at His table commemorating His love!
He sees your hearts breaking with penitential sorrows, and melting at His cross!

But these are not the only children whom He delights to view; they are not all in such an abject, imperfect state. No! He sees a glorious company of them around His throne in Heaven, arrived to maturity, enjoying their inheritance, and resembling their divine Parent!

How does His benevolent heart rejoice to look over the immense plains of Heaven–and see them all peopled with His seed! When He takes a view of this numerous offspring, sprung from His blood, and when He looks down to our world–and sees so many infants in grace, gradually advancing to their adult age; when He sees some, perhaps every hour since He died upon Calvary, entering the gates of Heaven, having finished their course of education upon earth; I say, when this prospect appears to Him on every hand–how does He rejoice!

Now the prophecy in my text is fulfilled! “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied!” If you put the sentiments of His benevolent heart into language, methinks He would say, “Since My death has been so fruitful of such a glorious posterity, I am well satisfied. I desire no other reward for all My agonies for them. If this end is but answered, I am fully satisfied by My hanging on the tree for them!”

Suppose that He should this day appear to you in that suffering form–sweating great drops of blood, accused, insulted, bruised, scourged, nailed upon the cross! And suppose He should turn to you with a countenance full of love and pity, and drenched with blood and tears, and address you in such moving language as this:
“See! sinners–see what I suffer for you! See at what a dear rate I purchase your salvation! See how I love you! And now I have only this to ask of you in return: that you would forsake those murderous sins which thus torment Me; that you would love and serve Me; and receive that salvation which I am now purchasing with the blood of My heart! This I ask, with all the importunity–of My last breath, of My bleeding wounds, and My expiring groans. Grant Me but this, and I am well satisfied! I shall think of all My sufferings, as well bestowed.”

O sirs, must not your heart melt away within you, to hear such language as this? See the strength of the love of Jesus! If you are but saved, He does not begrudge His blood and life for you! Your salvation makes amends for all His sufferings! This He accounts His greatest joy–a joy more than equivalent to all the pains He endured for you! He has full satisfaction for all the sorrows you have caused Him!

But alas! If you are not saved–then you will perish forever under the weight of His righteous vengeance; and He will rejoice over your damnation! He will glorify Himself in your destruction! The flames of Hell will burn dreadfully bright–when He will please Himself in the execution of His justice upon you!

Alas! Is the happiness of Heaven, the only kind of happiness that you are careless about? Is the salvation of your immortal soul, the only deliverance for which you have no desire? Alas! Have you become so stupidly wicked!!

“He shall see His seed! He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied!” Isaiah 53:10-11

But there is a condition

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But there is a condition

(J.R. Miller, “In All Your Ways!“)

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 

We all need direction in our life paths. 

We turn to our friends for counsel, but human wisdom is inadequate. It is short-sighted and cannot certainly know what is best. It is ignorant and may mislead unwittingly. Wrong advice, though meant for good, has wrecked many a life destiny! Human guidance is not enough; we need something truer, wiser, safer–something infallible; and that is just what we have assured to us in this promise of divine direction.

But there is a condition–we must acknowledge the Lord in all our ways. The “all” is emphatic. Most of us acknowledge the Lord in some of our ways. We turn to Him in the time of great trials, or in great and sore dangers. Even scoffers and atheists have been known, in the moment of peril, as in a storm at sea–to fall upon their knees and call upon God for help. The worst people, when alarming sickness is on them, or when death stares them in the face, want to take hold of the hand of God. There are none of us who do not at certain times crave divine direction and help. 

But the promise reads, “In all your ways”–that is the condition of the promised direction.

We are very willing to acknowledge God while He directs us in the paths in which we are inclined to go–paths that are pleasant and agreeable to us. We can easily submit to the sweet will of God, when it is indeed sweet to our natural taste. But how is it when God directs us to go the way we do not want to go–to do the thing that is unpleasant, and will cause pain, or require sacrifice or loss? 

How is it when the voice of God, answering to our request . . .
   bids us to take the path which leads to a cross;
   bids us to turn away from the pleasant thing that we crave;
   bids us to give up the dear friendship, which is drawing us away from Him; 
   bids us give into His hand, the child or loved one we so desire to keep with us?

“In all your ways” means the hard ways–as well as the easy ways; the thorny path–as wall as the path of flowers. Yet we are continually coming to points at which we hesitate. We say: “In all but this, dear Lord–I can take Your way and do Your will.” Still the answer comes, “In all My ways, My child.” 

There must be no reserve, no withholding, no exception. 

The beloved sin must be given up–though it seems only a little one, though giving it up is like cutting off a right hand or plucking out a right eye. 

The hard path must be taken–though it leads among thorns that pierce the feet, over the sharp stones, and through fire and flood. 

The painful duty must be done–though it costs us popularity, ease, or position; though it leads to poverty, suffering, or homelessness. 

The bitter grief must be accepted–though it seems to take all, and leave nothing.
It must be accepted sweetly, lovingly, cheerfully, with unquestioning surrender. 

The lesson is plain. Nothing must be withheld from God–whether it be in obedience, or in submission. 

The darling sin must be given up. 

The rough path must be walked over. 

That hard duty must be accepted. 

We must acknowledge the Lord in all our ways, if we would have Him direct our paths.

Looking at the world through the cross!

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Looking at the world through the cross!

(Octavius Winslow)

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14 

Jesus could accomplish man’s redemption in no other way than by crucifixion. He must die–and die the death of the cruel cross. 

What light and glory beam around the cross!

Of what prodigies of grace, is it the instrument, 
of what glorious truths, is it the symbol, 
of what mighty transforming power, is it the source! 

Around the cross gathers all the light of the Old Testament economy: 
  it explains every symbol
  it substantiates every shadow
  it solves every mystery
  it fulfills every type
  it confirms every prophecy, 
of that dispensation which had eternally remained unmeaning and inexplicable, but for the death of the Son of God upon the cross. 

Not the past only–but all future splendor gathers around the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. It assures us of the ultimate reign of the Savior, and tells of the reward which shall spring from His sufferings. And while its one arm points to the divine counsels of eternity past–with the other it points to the future triumph and glory of Christ’s kingdom in the eternity to come! Such is the lowly yet sublime, the weak yet mighty instrument, by which the sinner is saved and God eternally glorified. 

The cross of Christ is . . .
  the grand consummation of all preceding dispensations of God to men;
  the meritorious procuring cause of all spiritual blessings to our fallen race;
  the scene of Christ’s splendid victories over all His enemies and ours;
  the most powerful incentive to all evangelical holiness;
  the instrument which is to subjugate the world to the supremacy of Jesus;
  the source of all true peace, joy and hope;
  the tree beneath whose shadow all sin expires, all grace lives. 

The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! 
What a holy thrill these words produce in the heart of those who love the Savior! 
How significant is their meaning, how precious is their influence! 

Marvelous and irresistible, is the power of the cross! The cross of Christ has . . .
  subdued many a rebellious will; 
  broken many a marble heart; 
  laid low many a vaunting foe; 
  overcome and triumphed, when all other instruments have failed; 
  transformed the lion like heart of man, into the lamb like heart of Christ! 

When lifted up in its own bare simplicity and inimitable grandeur–the cross of Christ has won and attracted millions to its faith, admiration, and love! 

What a marvelous power does this cross of Jesus possess! It changes the Christian’s entire judgment of the world. Looking at the world through the cross–his opinion is totally revolutionized. 
He sees the world as it really is–a sinful, empty, vain thing. 
He learns its iniquity, in that it crucified the Lord of life and glory. 
His expectations from the world, and his love to the world, are transformed. 
He has found another object of love–the Savior whom the world cast out and slew. 
His love to the world is destroyed by that power which alone could destroy it–the crucifying power of the cross. 

It is the cross which eclipses, in the view of the true believer, the glory and attraction of every other object. 

What is the weapon by which faith combats with, and overcomes the world? What but the cross of Jesus! 

Just as the natural eye, gazing for a while upon the sun, is blinded for the moment to all other objects by its overpowering effulgence; so to the believer, concentrating his mind upon the glory of the crucified Savior, studying closely the wonders of graceand love and truth meeting in the cross–the world with all its attraction fades into the full darkness of an eclipse. 

Christ and His cross infinitely better than the world and its trinkets! 

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14 

We shall not always live in this poor, dying, trying, suffering, sinful state!

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We shall not always live in this poor, dying, trying, suffering, sinful state! 

(Letters of John Newton)

Now I know in part–then I shall know fully.” Soon we shall see cause to number our sharpest trials, among our choicest mercies! Then we shall say, “He has done all things well.”

Our trials are but for a season. We shall not always live in this poor, dying, trying, suffering, sinful state! Yet a little while, and all our sorrows will be left below–and this poor earth will be exchanged for a glorious Heaven!

Our present troubles will soon be to us–as the remembrance of a dream when we awake!

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen–but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary–but what is unseen is eternal!” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18 

An immense ocean of everlasting love!

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An immense ocean of everlasting love!

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

Dear friend,
May Jesus be yours–all that He is, and all that He has. Then you will be as rich as an archangel!

May He captivate you more with His infinite beauty and enable you to live more blessedly upon His infinite fullness, that He may keep His royal court in your soul!

The more you are acquainted with Him, the more you will grow in love to Him; for He is altogether lovely, an immense ocean of everlasting love! The loveliness of the whole world is but a drop compared to His immeasurable love. What must Heaven be, where His love is to be fully manifested and enjoyed forever! There we shall see Him! Oh, for that day! 

But even along our pilgrim way, He walks with us and makes our hearts burn within us. These sweet foretastes of His love draw us on and whet our appetite for Heaven. A few more of these foretastes, and we shall get to the fountainhead and drink rivers of pleasure forevermore! 

To His precious dear heart’s love, I commend you and yours, and am for His sake your friend and servant,
William Romaine

Spiritual Blindness

Amen! Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

TLP

John 9:35-41

Jesus heard that the Pharisees had thrown the man out who was blind from birth, for he wasn’t going along with what the Pharisees wanted. When He caught up with the man, the man came to believe in Him and worshipped Him. This brings us to verse 39; why doesn’t anyone ever quote it?

Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.”

John 9:39

I would expect that if my next post was titled “Jesus Came to Judge the World” many, probably most, of you would object, but there you have it in His own words! Of course, He also said that He had not come to judge, as the atheists like to point out as they search for something to claim is a contradiction.

What shall we say then?

This is an unusual context, isn’t…

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When she kisses you!

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When she kisses you!

(Francis Quarles, 1592-1644)

Do you think, my soul, to be made happy by the smiles of the world–or unhappy by her frowns? 

When she fawns upon you, she deludes you. 

When she kisses you, she betrays you. 

Like Jael, she brings the milk in a lordly dish, and bears a hammer in her deadly hand. 

Trust not her flattery, O my soul–nor let her malice move you. 

Her music is your enchantment, and her sweetness is your snare! 

She is the highway to eternal death! 

“Worldliness is the most thronged road to everlasting ruin!” J.A. James

“The spirit of the world is eating out the very heart and life of true godliness!” George Everard 

Refined worldliness is the present snare of the Church of God!” Horatius Bonar

“The world is a sea, where we are tossed upon the surging waves of sorrow, and often in danger of shipwreck! The world is a wilderness, full of fiery serpents!” Thomas Watson 

Groaning, Waiting, Hoping – How to Live in a Fallen, Fragile World

Amen! 🙏

Already Not Yet

magnolias-768x510Jon Bloom:

A late verdant spring is at this moment giving way to a lush early summer in Minnesota, the state where I have sojourned these nearly 55 years. Walking outside on a fair morning, when the brilliant new variegated greens of the trees and grasses are bursting with life, when a gorgeous spectrum of colorful, fragrant blossoms waves in the gentle breeze and seems to silently sing for joy, when the deep blues of our abundant rivers and lakes quiet frenetic thoughts, and everything is awash in the golden light of a blazing star ascending in a sky-field of azure, one can almost wonder if Eden has returned.

Almost. Then a police vehicle speeds by me, followed soon by a blaring ambulance. Then beneath the bridge I see the decaying body of a songbird whose voice so recently added more beauty to our urban avian choir. Then I…

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Who shall have the glory–the worm or Jesus?

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Who shall have the glory–the worm or Jesus?

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

I received your letter, and think you overlook our ever adorable Jesus, in setting any value upon a poor, dirty worm such as myself. 

If His grace raised this poor, dirty worm from a dunghill and set it upon a throne with His princes, who shall have the glory–the worm or Jesus? Shall any of His due praise be given to the worm? God forbid!

As vile and base as I am–yet He lets me approach Him and converse with Him freely. 

He condescends to admit me into fellowship with Him; and He opens His treasures and says, “All these are yours. I bought them for you with the price of My blood, but I give them to you as a free gift!” 

An infallible test!

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An infallible test!

(Samuel Davies, “The Nature of Love to God and Christ, Opened and Enforced”)

“If anyone does not love the Lord–a curse be on him!” 1 Corinthians 16:22

If you truly love the Lord Jesus Christ–then you earnestly study and endeavor to please Him by a life of universal obedience. Love is always desirous to please the person beloved; and it will naturally lead to a conduct that is pleasing. This, then, you may be sure of, that if you truly love Jesus–then it is the labor of your life to please Him.

The only way to please Jesus, and the best test of your love to Him–is obedience to His commandments. This is made the decisive mark by Christ Himself: “If anyone loves Me–he will obey My teaching. He who does not love Me–will not obey My teaching.” John 14:23, 24

Jesus repeats this theme over and over in different forms: “Whoever has My commands and obeys them–he is the one who lovesMe,” verse 21. “If you love Me–you will obey what I command,” verse 15. “You are My friends–if you do what I command.” John 15:14. “This is love for God,” says John; that is, it is the surest evidence, and the natural, inseparable effect of our love to God, “that we obey His commands. And His commands are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3; that is, they will not seem grievous to one who obeys them from the principle of sincere love.

Here, then, you who profess to love the Lord Jesus–here is an infallible test for your love! Do you make it the great aim of your life to keep His commandments? Do you honestly endeavor to perform every duty which He has required–and that because He has commanded it? And do you vigorously resist and struggle against every sin, however constitutional, however fashionable, however gainful–because He forbids it? And is the way of obedience pleasant to you? Would you choose this holy way to Heaven, rather than any other–if it were left to your choice?

Your not loving God–if it continues, will certainly lead you to Hell. You are fit for no other place! Where should the enemies of God be–but in an infernal prison? There is the same propriety in throwing you into Hell–as in shutting up madmen in bedlam, or rebels in a dungeon! Why, you are devilized already! You have the very temperament of devils! Enmity to God is the grand constituent of a devil–it is the worst ingredient in that infernal disposition; and this you have in your hearts, and, as it were, incorporated with your habitual temperament! And what do you think will become of you? Judge for yourselves–must you not be doomed to that everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels–whom you resemble?

“If anyone does not love the Lord–a curse be on him!” 1 Corinthians 16:22

Wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption

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Wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption

(Robert Traill)

“But from Him you are in Christ Jesus, who for us became:
 wisdom from God, 
 as well as righteousness,
 sanctification,
 and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30

Wisdom outside of Christ–is damning folly! 

Righteousness outside of Christ–is guilt and condemnation! 

Sanctification outside of Christ–is filth and sin! 

Redemption outside of Christ–is bondage and slavery!

If a man trusts to his own righteousness, he rejects Christ’s righteousness. 
If he trusts to Christ’s righteousness, he rejects his own righteousness.

I know no true religion but Christianity.

I know no true Christianity but the doctrine of Christ:
  of His divine person,
  of His divine offices,
  of His divine righteousness, 
  and of His divine Spirit. 

I know no true ministers of Christ, but such as make it their business to commend Jesus Christ in His saving fullness of grace and glory, to the faith and love of men.

I know no true Christian, but one united to Christ by faith, and abiding in him by faith and love, unto the glorifying of the name of Jesus Christ, in the beauties of gospel-holiness.    

Are You Running Away Like Jonah?

Amen Ellie! It’s time to stop running. 😀 🙏 💪🏼

New Creations Ministries

There are so many life lessons we can learn from the Biblical Jonah. As you recall, Jonah was commanded by God to go and preach to Nineveh but he ran away rather than face his responsibilities.

Have you ever thought, well how foolish!I wouldn’t ever run away from God when He commands me to do something!  He’s everywhere!

But we do actually act like Jonah at times! We are commanded by God to go on a journey. It is a life journey.

And as a Father, when His children rebel, God will get our attention in any way He can. Even by allowing storms (illness) to invade our body naturally when we consume too many unhealthy, chemically-laden foods.  Remember that was our choice, not His.

We live under Grace but are responsible for everything we do. Moderation is fine, but who forced us daily consume an entire bag of chips, overeat at the buffet or super-size that fast-food meal?

Like Jonah…

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Quicken our poor, cold, lifeless souls!

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Quicken our poor, cold, lifeless souls! 

(James Smith, “The Evening Sacrifice; Or, A Help to Devotion” 1859)

“My soul cleaves unto the dust–quicken me according to Your Word!” Psalm 119:25 

What powerful attractions the present world has! How prone we are . . .
  to sink down to its level,
  to become attached to its customs,
  and to cleave to its vanities! 
Yet, at the best, it is but dust. There is nothing in the world to satisfy or suit an immortal mind. 

Jesus died for us–to deliver us from this present evil world. The Holy Spirit urges us to rise above it, and offers us His divine and all-sufficient aid. He will not force, but only attract or draw. Alas! that we should . . . 
  slight His intimations,
  disregard His exhortations,
  and grieve His loving heart!

We are not of the world–and yet how worldly we are! We are born from above–but yet how earthly we remain! Our souls go out after things that are carnal, drossy, dusty, contemptible–to the neglect of things that are spiritual, pure, holy, and invaluable. 

Heavenly Father, we confess our folly, we deplore our ingratitude, we condemn our conduct. We feel weak and feeble when we attempt to burst our bonds, and mount upwards to Your throne. O quicken, quicken us! By the power of Your Holy Spirit, and by bringing home Your inspired Word–quicken our poor, cold, lifeless souls! 

Have You not promised to be as the dew unto Your people, coming down graciously, gradually, and gently upon them–in order to revive their graces, quicken their devotions, and cause them to grow up into Christ? O come down upon our dry and thirsty souls as the dew–or fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants.

Quicken us–and so will we mount up to Your throne, and do Your righteous will. Quicken us–and so Jesus will be precious to us, and the work of the Lord will be pleasant to us.

Why Do People Reject the Poor Carb???

Amen! 😀

New Creations Ministries

I’m sure my fellow nutritionists and dietitians have similar frustrations when they hear someone gleefully announce, “I’m giving up all carbs to lose weight!

Before you swear off all carbohydrates, STOP and THINK. Here are some important facts for your brain to digest:

The brain feeds primarily on glucose. Glucose is a carbohydrate. The most important carbohydrate in the body. I don’t know about you but I intend to retain as many brain cells as I can; especially during this era of ever-increasing dementia.

Glucose circulates in the bloodstream as sugar and is also necessary for cell respiration and energy.

I’ve heard people declare they’ve sworn off peanuts, lentils (Paleo Diet) and that they’d NEVER eat bananas because they’re “fattening.” What false beliefs! All the above carbohydrates contain valuable tryptophan which turns into the feel-good neurotransmitter, serotonin. The body needs serotonin to remain happy. (Pumpkin seeds and sunflower…

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The Strength of God

Amen! 😀

-Word- pictures by DLink

ie-9chgWE_4

Often, the Lord allows us to come to the end of our own ability so that we clearly see His hand.  Otherwise, we would attribute success to our own doing.  God enables us to go on, fearlessly, boldly, and effectively.

Commentary from the In Touch devotional by Charles Stanley, June, 16, 2020.

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Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe?

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Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe?

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   ~  ~  ~  ~ 

(Samuel Davies, “The Justice of God–and the Sins of Our Country” 1755)

“When disaster comes to a city–has not the LORD caused it?” Amos 3:6

It concerns us all to seriously reflect upon our own sins and the sins of our land, which have brought these calamities upon us.

We and our countrymen are sinners, aggravated sinners! God proclaims that we are such:
  by His judgments now upon us,
  by withering fields and scanty harvests,
  by the sound of the trumpet and the alarm of war! 

O my country, is not your wickedness great, and your iniquities infinite? Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe? Pass over the land, take a survey of the inhabitants, inspect into their conduct–and what do you see? What do you hear? 

You see the gigantic forms of vice bidding defiance to the God of Heaven–while true religion and virtue are forced to retire to avoid public contempt and insult! 

You see herds of drunkards swilling down their cups, and drowning all morality within them! 

You hear the swearer venting his fury against God–trifling with that Name which prostrate angels adore, and imprecating that damnation, under which the hardiest devil in Hell trembles and groans!

You see avarice hoarding up her useless treasures, 
dishonest craft
 planning her schemes of unlawful gain, 
and oppression unmercifully grinding the face of the poor! 

You see prodigality squandering her stores! 

You see luxury spreading her table! 

You see vanity laughing aloud and dissolving in empty, unthinking mirth–regardless of God, of time and eternity! 

You see sensuality wallowing in carnal pleasures, and aspiring, with perverted ambition–to sink as low as her four-footed brethren in the stalls!

You see cards more in use than the Bible; 
the backgammon table more frequented than the table of the Lord; 
novels 
and romances more read–than the history of the blessed Jesus! 

You see trifling, and even evil diversions and amusements, become a gigantic business! 
The outcome of a horse-race is more anxiously attended to–than the concerns of eternity! 

And where these grosser forms of vice do not shock your senses–you often meet with the appearances of a more refined impiety, which is equally dangerous!

You hear the conversation of reasonable creatures, of candidates for eternity–engrossed by trifles, or vainly wasted on the affairs of time! These are their important subjects of conversation, even at the threshold of the house of God!

You see swarms of prayerless families all over our land! You see ignorant, wicked children, unrestrained and untaught by those to whom God and nature have entrusted their souls! 

You see the holy religion of Jesus–abused, neglected, disobeyed, and dishonored by its professors! 

You see crowds of professed believers, who are in reality, practical atheists! 
These nominal Christians are really unholy heathens! 
They are abandoned slaves of sin–who yet pretend to be the servants of the holy Jesus!

You see multitudes lying in a deep sleep in sin all around us! You see them eager in the pursuits of the vanities of time–but stupidly unconcerned about the important realities of the eternal world just before them! So few are concerned what shall become of them–when all their connections with earth and flesh must be broken, and they must take their flight into strange, unknown regions! So few lamenting their sins! So few crying for mercy and a new heart! So few flying to Jesus! 

The only effectual reformer of the world!

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The only effectual reformer of the world!

(Samuel Davies, “Serious Reflections on WAR” 1757)

“When He comes–He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment!” John 16:8

The Holy Spirit is the only effectual reformer of the world! If He is absent–
  legislators may make laws against crime; 
  philosophers may reason against vice; 
  ministers may preach against sin; 
  conscience may remonstrate against evil;
  the divine law may prescribe, and threaten Hell; 
  the gospel may invite, and allure to Heaven; 
but all will be in vain!

The strongest arguments, the most melting entreaties, the most alarming denunciations from God and man, enforced with the highest authority, or the most compassionate tears–all will have no effect–all will not effectually reclaim one sinner, nor gain one sincere convert to righteousness! 

Paul, Apollos, and Peter, with all their apostolic abilities, can do nothing, without the Holy Spirit. Paul may plant the seed–and Apollos may water it; but God alone can make it grow! “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything–but only God, who makes things grow!” 1 Corinthians 3:6, 7

Never will peace and harmony be established in this jangling world–until this Divine Agent takes the work in hand.

It is He alone, who can melt down the obstinate hearts of men into love and peace! 

It is He alone, who can soften their rugged and savage tempers, and transform them into mutual benevolence! 

It is He alone–who can quench those lusts that set the world on fire, and implant the opposite virtues and graces. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, are mentioned by Paul, as the fruit of the Spirit, because the Spirit alone is the author of them. And if these dispositions were predominant in the world–what a serene, calm, peaceful region would it be, undisturbed with the hurricanes of human passions!

Oh, how much do we need the influence of the blessed Spirit . . .
  to break the heart of stone,
  to enlighten the dark mind, and
  to comfort the desponding soul!

The only system adapted to his case!

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The only system adapted to his case!

(William Nicholson, “Pearls of Great Price!” 1855)

Viewing man as a fallen, sinful creature–the gospel is the only system adapted to his case!  
The more he contemplates it, the more he perceives its precious adaptation to his dreadful state. 
The gospel is . . .
  light, for the darkness of his reason; 
  peace, for the tumult of his conscience; 
  joy, for the anguish of his mind; 
  hope, for the gloom of his despair. 

Is he guilty? The gospel presents . . .
  an all-sufficient Savior,
  an all-atoning sacrifice,
  and an all-forgiving God. 

Is he impure? The gospel opens up for him a fountain for sin and for uncleanness–a hallowed flood supplied from the Redeemer’s cross, where the vilest sinner may wash from his heinous pollution. 

Is he alienated from God–at an infinite distance from the only source of happiness and forgiveness? The gospel is a medium of approach, a way of access to the thrice holy God. Here the Alpine mountains of his guilt are leveled to the dust. Here the prodigal returns, is freely received, fully forgiven, elevated to a place in his heavenly Father’s family, and never lost from his heavenly Father’s heart. 

Is he the victim of ignorance and error? Here he receives the lessons of a heavenly prophet–the Spirit of God becomes his kind instructor. Here the untutored savage is made wiser than the learned sage, “wise unto salvation!”

Does he feel himself the subject of passions that lead him continually astray from God? 
The same Spirit becomes the inhabitant of his bosom . . .
  to subdue his passions, 
  to curb his lusts, 
  to control his will, and 
  to sanctify the nature He has first renewed, and which shall finally be glorified with Christ. 

In every point of view, the gospel meets his case!

Is he a sinner? The gospel offers pardon!

Is he a debtor? The gospel grants him full payment of his dept! 

Is he a captive to sin and Satan? The gospel gives him liberty. 

Is he fallen into utter depravity? It elevates him to God’s throne, and constitutes him “a king and a priest unto God.” 

Is he thirsty? The gospel is a river of life. 

Is he weary? It is a sweet repose. 

Is he ignorant? The gospel is a divine instructor. 

Is he spiritually diseased? It is immortal health and vigor to his soul. 

Is he dying? The gospel is eternal life. 

Yes, in the gospel . . .
  the law is fulfilled,
  justice is atoned, and
  the divine perfections are harmonized in man’s redemption.

The Snake

Amen! 😀 🙏

Hidden Treasure

So Moses made a bronze snake and put it up on a pole. Then when anyone was bitten by a snake and looked at the bronze snake, he lived. Numbers 21:9

Snakes kill in lots of ways. Some inject a poison that quickly or slowly paralyzes its victim. Some use constriction, squeezing the life out of its prey. Others just swallow their victim whole, headfirst to immobilize them and lessen the chance of resistance and escape. Sounds like sin to me, especially the headfirst part. So often sin starts with wrong thinking.

In the Bible snakes are symbols of both sin and the consequences of sin. Numbers 21:5-9 the people grumbled against the Lord and he sent poisonous snakes among them. They cried out to Moses and God instructed him to make a snake image (or substitute) and raise it up on a pole for the Israelites to look at…

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The cultivation of an insignificant life

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The cultivation of an insignificant life

(J.H. Jowett)

It is possible to evade a multitude of trials by the cultivation of an insignificant life.
 

Only One Life!

Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart, 
And from my mind would not depart:
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Only one life, yes only one, 
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet, 
And stand before His Judgment seat.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Only one life, the still small voice, 
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave, 
And to God’s holy will to cleave.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes and fears;
Each with its days I must fulfill, 
living for self, or in His will.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

When this bright world would tempt me sore, 
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way, 
Then help me Lord with joy to say:
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Give me Father, a purpose deep, 
In joy or sorrow Your word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife, 
Pleasing You in my daily life.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Oh let my love with fervor burn, 
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for You, and You alone, 
Bringing You pleasure on Your throne.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Only one life, yes only one, 
Now let me say, “Your will be done!”
And when at last I’ll hear the call, 
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all!”
Only one life, ’twill soon be past, 
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

        Author unknown
 

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you.
 Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you
 know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

My heart feels for you, my dear friend, in your deep, deep trial

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My heart feels for you, my dear friend, in your deep, deep trial

Letters of Mary Winslow” 1774-1854

My heart feels for you, my dear friend, in your deep, deep trial. This present world is a world of sadness; but when we think of that glorious world which is to come, into which sorrow never enters, and how soon we may be there–we may well “rejoice in tribulation.” Our “light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!” 

In all your sorrows, pour out your heart to the Man of sorrows. He will bow down His ear and listen to all that you say. He will either remove or moderate your trial, or give you strength to bear it. Even this bitter draught He has given you to drink shall result both in your good and His glory. 

Remember, not a sparrow falls upon the ground without His guidance, and that the very hairs of your head are all numbered. How much more has this trying event been ordered and arranged by Him who loves you! Infinite wisdom has appointed the whole! Never doubt that He loves you, when He most deeply afflicts. 

May He lift up upon you the light of His countenance, drawing you nearer to Himself, that you may see what a tender, loving heart He has for you, and how deeply and tenderly and considerately He cares for you–as if there were not another poor sorrowful one to care for on the face of the whole earth!

“When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you.
 When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown!
 When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
 For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior!” Isaiah 43:2-3  

A worldly Christianity

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A worldly Christianity 

(Octavius Winslow)

“Do not be conformed to this world.” Romans 12:2 

Professor of the gospel! Guard against the world; it is your undoing! Watch against conformity to it . . . 
  in your dress, 
  in your mode of living, 
  in the education of your children, 
  in the principles, motives, and policy that govern you. 

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit by . . . 
  any known inconsistency of conduct, 
  any sinful conformity to the world, 
  any inordinate pursuit of . . . 
    its wealth, 
    its honors, 
    its pleasures, 
    its friendships, 
    its great things. 

Pray against the sin of covetousness, that canker-worm that feeds at the root of so many souls! 

Pray against the love of dress, that sin that diverts the mind of so many professors from the simplicity of Christ, and takes the eye off from the true adornment! 

Pray against a thirst for light and trifling reading, that strange and sinful inconsistency of so many, the certain tendency of which is to starve the life of God in the soul, to engender a distaste for spiritual nourishment for the Word of God, for holy meditation, and for Divine communion and fellowship. 

Yes, pray against the spirit of worldly, sinful conformity in everything! 

Reader! are you a professing Christian? Then guard against a worldly Christianity–a Christianity that wears a fair exterior, so far as it is composed of church attendance; but which excludes from it the cross of the meek and lowly Lamb of God–a Christianity which loves the world and the things of the world, “makes a fair show in the flesh,” speaks well of Christ–and yet betrays Him with a kiss. 

Oh, awful state! Oh, fearful deception! Oh, fatal delusion! 

The world is the sworn enemy of your Savior; let it not be your friend. No, come out of it and be separate!

Tomorrow comes, and they are in Hell!

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Tomorrow comes, and they are in Hell! 

(Samuel Davies, “The Objects, Grounds, and Evidences of the HOPE of the Righteous”)

“The wicked is driven away in his wickedness;
 but the righteous has hope in his death.” Proverbs 14:32

“The wicked is driven away in his wickedness.”
That is, the wicked man dies–just as he lived.
He lived in wickedness, and in wickedness he dies

His wickedness sticks fast upon him–when his earthly enjoyments, his friends, and all created comforts leave him forever.

The guilt of his wickedness lies heavy upon him–like a mountain of lead, ready to sink him into the depths of eternal misery!

And the principles of wickedness, which he indulged all his life, still live within him, even after the agonies of death; nay, they now arrive at a dreadful immortality, and produce an eternal Hell in his heart!

He leaves behind him not only all his earthly comforts–but all the little remains of goodness which he seemed to have, while under the restraints of divine grace; and he carries nothing but his wickedness along with him into eternity! With this dreadful attendant–his wickedness–he must stand before the tribunal of his holy Judge! To leave his earthly all behind him, and die in the agonies of dissolving nature–this is terrible. But to die in his wickedness–this is infinitely the most terrible of all!

He once flattered himself that though he lived in wickedness–that he would not die in it. He adopted many resolutions to amend, and forsake his wickedness toward the close of life, or upon a death-bed. But Oh! how sorely is he disappointed! After all his promising purposes and hopes, he died as he lived–in wickedness!

This is generally the fate of veterans in sin. They are resolving and re-resolving to reform all their lives; but after all, they die the same as they lived. They intend to prepare for death and eternity, but just not today. They have always something else to do today; and therefore they put off this work until tomorrow. Tomorrow comes, and instead of reforming, they die in their wickedness. Tomorrow comes, and they are in Hell!

“The wicked is driven away in his wickedness.” 
He is driven away, in spite of all his reluctance. 
Let him cling to life ever so strongly, yet he must go! 
All his struggles are vain, and cannot add one moment to his life.

Indeed, the wicked have so little taste for Heaven, and are so much in love with this world–that if they leave it at all, they must be driven out of it–driven out of it, whether they want or not!

When they hope for Heaven, they do in reality consider it but a shift, or a refuge, when they can no longer live in this, their favorite world. They do not at all desire Heaven–in comparison with this world. They would live forever in this present world, if they could have their choice. But let them grasp ever so hard, they must let go their hold. They must be driven away, like chaff before a whirlwind–driven away into the regions of misery. Into the regions of misery, I say; for certainly the happiness of Heaven was never intended for such as are so averse to it; and who prefer this wretched world, with all its cares and sorrows–before Heaven itself!

“But the wicked will lose hope. They have no escape. Their hope becomes despair.” Job 11:20

“When the wicked die, their hopes all perish!” Proverbs 11:7

“The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath!” Proverbs 11:23

Who is regulating affairs on this earth today–God, or the Devil?

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Who is regulating affairs on this earth today–God, or the Devil? 

(Arthur Pink, “The Sovereignty of God”)

Who is regulating affairs on this earth today–God, or the Devil?

That God reigns supreme in Heaven, is generally conceded; but that He reigns supreme over this earth, is almost universally denied–if not directly, then indirectly. More and more men are relegating God to the background in their philosophizing and theorizing. 

Take the material realm. Not only is it denied that God created everything, by personal and direct action–but few believe that He has any immediate concern in regulating the works of His own hands. Everything is supposed to be ordered according to the (impersonal and abstract) “laws of Nature”. Thus is the Creator banished from His own creation! Therefore we need not be surprised that men, in their degrading conceptions, exclude Him from the realm of human affairs

Throughout Christendom, with an almost negligible exception, the theory is held that man is “a free agent”, and therefore, man is the master of his fortunes and the determiner of his destiny. 

Who is regulating affairs on this earth today–God, or the Devil? 


What do the Scriptures say? If we believe their plain and positive declarations, no room is left for uncertainty. They affirm, again and again . . .
  that God is on the throne of His universe;
  that the scepter is in His hands;
  that He is directing all things “after the counsel of His own will”. Ephesians 1:11

The Scriptures affirm, not only that God created all things, but also that God is ruling and reigning over all the works of His hands. They affirm . . .
  that God is the Almighty,
  that His will is irreversible,
  that He is absolute sovereign in every realm of all His vast dominions. 

And surely it must be so. Only two alternatives are possible:
  God must either rule–or be ruled;
  God must either sway–or be swayed;
  God must either accomplish His own will–or be thwarted by His creatures. 

Accepting the fact that He is the “Most High God”, the only Potentate and King of kings, vested with perfect wisdom and illimitable power–the conclusion is irresistible, that He must be God in fact–as well as in name!

It is in view of what we have briefly referred to above, that we say, present-day conditions call loudly for a new examination and new presentation of God’s omnipotence, God’s sufficiency, and God’s sovereignty. From every pulpit in the land it needs to be thundered forth–that God still reigns! What is needed now, as never before, is a full, positive, constructive setting forth of the Godhood of God. Drastic diseases call for drastic remedies. We know of nothing which is more calculated to infuse spiritual vigor into our souls, than a scriptural apprehension of the full character of God!

“Our God is in Heaven! He does whatever He pleases!” Psalm 115:3 

“The LORD does whatever pleases Him throughout all Heaven and earth, and on the seas and in their depths!” Psalm 135:6

“All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of Heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: What have you done?” Daniel 4:35 

“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns!” Revelation 19:6 

What shadows we are–and what shadows we pursue!

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What shadows we are–and what shadows we pursue!

(Octavius Winslow)

“We were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow!” Job 8:9 

“He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting shadow, he does not endure.” Job 14:2

“What is your life? You are a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14

All is shadow here below! 

The world is a shadow–and is passing away! 

The creature is a shadow–and the loveliest and the fondest may be the first to die! 

Health is a shadow–fading, and in a moment gone!

Wealth is a shadow–today upon the summit of affluence, tomorrow at its base, plunged into poverty and dependence!

Human friendships and creature affections are but shadows–sweet and pleasant while they last; but, with a worm feeding at the root of all created good, the sheltering gourd soon withers, exposing us to the sun’s burning heat by day, and to the frost’s cold chill by night! 

Oh, yes! “Passing Away!” is indelibly inscribed upon everything here below! 

Yet how slow we are to realize the solemn lesson: “What shadows we are–and what shadows we pursue!” 

Unconverted reader, what is your life–but a vapor that passes away? 
And what are your pursuits, but shadows–unreal, unsatisfying, evanescent? 

Your rank, your wealth, your honors, your pleasures, are but phantoms which appear but for a little while, and then are lost in the deeper shadow of the grave, and the still deeper and longer shadow of eternity! 

Oh, turn from these dreams and hallucinations, and, as a rational, accountable, immortal being, on your way to judgment–fix your mind upon your solemn, endless future! You are going to die! And, oh, when that dread hour comes, so real and appalling–how then will your past trifling life appear?

“As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.” Psalm 103:15-16 

“My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass.” Psalm 102:11

“Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.” Psalm 144:4

“So teach us to number our days aright, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalm 90:12 

I am the object of God’s tender, paternal, and ceaseless care!

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I am the object of God’s tender, paternal, and ceaseless care!

(“Comfort for the Desponding–Words to Soothe and Cheer Troubled Hearts!” 1864)

 

“Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you!” 1 Peter 5:7 

The Christian’s life is very much made up of cares and comforts.
Cares spring from earth–comfort comes from Heaven.
Cares prove him a sinner–holy comforts prove him a saint.
Cares flow in from a variety of quarters–true comfort from only one quarter.
Cares come naturally–but comforts come supernaturally. 

Cares must be cast on our God–or they will prove a burden too heavy for us. They will depress us, bewilder us, and make us wretched. But here is our comfort–we have always ONE to care for us, and the very One which of all others we would wish to do so, “The Lord cares for you!”

God cares for whom? 
For you, who are born again by the Spirit. 
For you, who are strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 
For you, who are placed in humble circumstances, being numbered with the poor of this world. 
For you, who are compassed about with so many cares, and who enjoy so few comforts.
For you, who are surprised at your many fiery trials, as though some strange thing had happened unto you.
For you, who are worried and harassed by Satan, who, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking whom he may devour. 
For you, who are persecuted by the world, and hated by men for your Savior’s sake. 
For you, to whom Christ is precious–as He is to every one who truly believes in Him. 

God’s care extends to every Christian . . .
  the young and the aged,
  the weak and the strong,
  the poor and the wealthy,
  the doubting and the confident. 
Believer, He cares for you!

Who is it that cares for us?
It is the Lord, the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy;
who is so great–that we have no adequate conception of His greatness;
who is so good–that it is impossible fully to set forth His goodness;
who is so glorious–that no sinner can see His face and live. 
It is He . . .
   who created all things with His word,
   who governs all by His wisdom, 
   and upholds all by His power. 
His resources are infinite, 
His compassion is exquisite, and 
His patience is astonishingly great. 
He enters into all the circumstances of His redeemed people, is ever present with them, and rejoices over them to do them good. 

The angels obey Him, 
the seraphim adore Him, 
and all creation glorifies Him! 

But though He is so exalted, so holy, and so unspeakably great . . .
  He cares for you–as vile as you are.
  He cares for you–as sinful as you are.
  He cares for you–as depressed and discouraged as you are. 
He cares for you. He cares for you individually, and according to the circumstances in which you are placed.

What does He do? 
He cares for you!
He thinks of you!
He watches over you!
He sympathizes with you!
He feels the deepest interest in you!
He ever seeks your welfare!
He infallibly secures your good!

Your misery touches His heart,
your needs lie open to His view,
and your cries enter into His ears!

He cares for you more than for the proudest monarch on his throne! 

He cares for you–and His care is CONSTANT! 
It is not fitful or occasional–but ever the same. 

He cares for you–and His care is PATERNAL! 
It is the care of a father for his child–the child whom he tenderly loves, and for whose welfare he feels the deepest concern. 

He cares for you, and His care is PERPETUAL! 
He will never care for you less than He does at present. 
When old age weakens you, 
when poverty pinches you, 
when death appears just before you–
He will care for you as much as He does at this moment. 

He cares for you–and His care is BENEFICIAL! 
It prevents innumerable evils–and secures the greatest possible amount of good. His care is more advantageous than the care of the kindest father, though that father were monarch of the mightiest empire, and possessed unbounded wealth. The care of God is of more value than the care of all His creatures combined. 

He cares for you–but His care is MYSTERIOUSLY EXERCISED! 
It benefits us certainly–but secretly. It conceals itself behind the blessings it brings, and the evils it prevents. 

He cares for you–and His care is SPECIAL! 
It is not the care which He has for the beasts which perish, or the unbelieving sinners who die under His frown. 

He cares for you–and His care is PARTICULAR. 
It is care which extends to the very hairs of your heads, which, are all numbered–and to all the events and occurrences of your life, however minute or commonplace!

Beloved, here is our comfort. We may lose the care of an earthly relative or dear friend by death–but the Lord ever lives; and while He lives, He . . .
  ever loves us,
  thoroughly knows us, and
  never ceases to care for us!

Here is the ground of our confidence for the future. We know not where we shall be, nor what we shall be–for we know not what a day may bring forth. But this we know, that God will care for us, and, caring for us–He will fulfill His precious promises to us. 

If God cares for us, then . . .
   let us cast all our cares upon Him; 
   let us live in daily fellowship with Him; 
   let us seek all our supplies from Him. 

If God cares for us, then let us not dishonor Him by nursing our doubts, or encouraging our fears–but let us trust in Him at all times, for . . .
  His love is true
  His care is constant, and 
  His knowledge is perfect

We shall never be without a divine friend–however trying our circumstances may be. We shall never be without a divine guide–however perplexing or difficult our path may be. The care of God is more than the care of all the angelic hosts. If the care of God is not sufficient to preserve, supply, and satisfy us–then nothing is.

May the Lord help me to believe this precious truth, to realize it daily, and to pass through the present world under the impression, “I am the object of God’s tender, paternal, and ceaseless care!

Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never let the righteous fall!” Psalm 55:22

☀️ #65 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Barbados #3” 🇧🇧 (2019)

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 Good morning friends!  

Room 112 Southern Palms

Palm tree on the left with an empty picture postcard view of the caribbean beach and seaNope..I just can’t get bored of the view! 😀  

Breakfast and bathing…

Nope…I can’t get bored of this breakfast either, lol! 🤣  

Then it’s time for Sarah to have a swim in the pool whilst i try and not get fried. ☀️   

Sarah in the empty pool enjoying the sun

Me sat in blue Caribbean shirt next to the swimming pool and the beach

 Sarah showed me where to get the lovely ice cold water (with cucumber or lemon) so i could refill while she was in the pool. Once i’ve been shown i’m pretty good at remembering where to go and what to do. The water was on a table underneath a tent like thing…And i could just make out a shape of a palm tree above it but i didn’t know it was glowing! ☀️ 🌴 

Palm tree in the sunshine  with the water tent in view

The beach and Bajan blast… 

Photo of the pink hotel taken from the beach with palm trees around

Wow…I don’t think we’ve ever been anywhere that is so accessible for us. It’s so much easier for us to be independent and do everything that we want to without too much hassle or struggle…And everything is so near by and we find it hard to even leave Southern Palms.

Speaking of which…”Steve let’s go on the beach” Sarah said as she blew pas me! I love this time of day and i’ll never get bored of seeing Sarah run, splash and play on this empty Caribbean beach. My only struggle is trying to point the camera towards the happy sounds! 🤣   

Sarah on Dover beach in Barbados

Sarah on Dover beach in Barbados

Sarah on Dover beach in Barbados

Sarah on Dover beach in Barbados

 After another fantastic time on the beach, it’s time to dry off and cool off…And what better way to cool off than a iced coffee at Sharkey’s! 😀  

Sharkey’s Tropical Cafe…

Sharkeys cafe in Barbados

Sharkey s Tropical Cafe Sign

Sarah sat with an iced coffee in the very colourful Sharkey's Tropical Cafe

 Surf and turf… 

 And guess what?? It’s time for  the ‘Southern Burger’ and the ‘Shrimp Cocktail’ again, Sarah says the shrimp are as big as your face and she’s never seen anything like it before! 🤣  

The shrimp cocktail

Southern burger

Sarah’s beautiful new green dress…

Sarah was excited to wear her beautiful new green dress, and as our room was right on the front facing the beach i said i’ll stay on the balcony and get some photos…No pressure, lol! 🤣 I didn’t have my ‘Big Burtha’ (Nikkor 80-400mm lens) or any of my DSLR’s but i did have my iPhone and tested the digital pinch zoom range! 😀  

Sarah and the green dress on Dover beach in Barbados

Sarah and the green dress on Dover beach in Barbados

Sarah and the green dress on Dover beach in Barbados

Sarah and the green dress walking on the beach

Sarah and the green dress

Sarah and the green dress walking on the beach

Sarah and the green dress

Sarah and the green dress on Dover beach in Barbados

 Hey look who’s back…?

Sarah, Cynthia and George

Just as Sarah was walking back from the beach we heard “Sarah…Hello we’re back” it was George and Cynthia! They’d had a lovely time visiting family in Saint Vincent and you’ll never guess…?

If you remember when we stayed here last year and i had ‘The Coconut Slice’ in Speightstown on Sarah’s birthday island tour…Well obviously i was telling George about it and he said “We have a local one like that can Saint Vincent called ‘Red Belly’ and it sounds the same”. 

Then…

George said “Put out your hand” and continued to place a ‘Red Belly’ coconut slice into my hand! I couldn’t believe it…His kindness was ineffable. He continued I went to the bakery on the island and they only had 2 left and were not making any more, i got one for you and one for me”. 😀 I don’t have the hyperbole to describe the coconut slice, and sorry i don’t have a photo as it disappeared so quickly…Not sure where it went, lol! 🤣  

The Bajan sunset…

me stood in front of the amazing sunset

 Wow what a relaxing day on this incredible holiday. Thankfully we have 1 more full day at this beautifully colourful place before we head back to Gatwick and the cold, wet and grey London hue! 

To be continued… 

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The man who has God for his portion!

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The man who has God for his portion!

(James Smith, “Gleams of Grace” 1860)

“You are my portion, O LORD!” Psalm 119:57

If God is my portion, then I ought to be content without any other portion. He is . . .
  enough in poverty,
  enough in persecution,
  enough in life,
  enough in death,
  enough for evermore!

If God gives me Himself–then it is more than as if He had given me the whole world, or ten thousand worlds like this! O how happy was the apostle Paul, who knowing God to be his portion could say, “I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in need!” Philippians 4:11-12

If God is my portion, I ought to be thankful. It is enough. There is no losing it. What dignity, what honor is conferred on the man who has God for his portion! I deserved to be stripped of everything, and to be turned out of God’s presence eternally penniless, wretched, and miserable. But instead of this, God in His free grace, in His infinite mercy–gives me . . .
  a heavenly mansion,
  a glorious city,
  an eternal kingdom,
  more, He gives me Himself! 
God in all His glory, in all His grace–is mine!

If God is my portion, then I ought to be living upon Him. If I live upon anything outside of God–then I live upon what is finite, and will change. But if I live upon God, I live upon the infinite, and upon what is unchangeable. As a believer, I should live befitting the dignity of my lofty character, position, and prospects. The man of fortune ought not to live like the pauper. Just so, the Christian ought to live above other men. 

If God is my portion, I ought to be making a proper use of it. I should set my portion over and against . . .
  all my pains and privations,
  all my griefs and grievances, 
  all my sadnesses and sorrows. 

I should look above all my trials and troubles–and rejoice that throughout eternity, I shall have . . .
  eternal ease–instead of pain,
  eternal plenty–instead of privation,
  eternal joy–instead of grief,
  eternal gladness–instead of sadness,
  and eternal bliss–instead of sorrow!

Beloved, is the Lord your portion? Are you living upon Him as such?

But if God is not your portion–then what is? 
Where are your thoughts most? 
Where do your affections center? 
After what do you pursue
The world? It is a poor, fleeting, unsatisfying portion! 
It will be found insufficient, unsatisfactory, and perishing! 

Unless God is your portion, you will be . . .
  unsatisfied in life,
  wretched in death, and
  indescribably miserable to all eternity! flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!” Psalm 73:26

☀️ #64 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Barbados #2” 🇧🇧 (2019)

Barbados logo

 Good morning friends! 

Breakfast and braides…

After the consistently delicious, fresh and tasty breakfast we headed off to the salon. It was the same lady from last year, so she knew exactly how we liked our hair and we had a good catch up too! 😀   

My braides and Caribbean shirt

Me and Sarah's braides

Our new friends George and Cynthia…

Me Cynthia Sarah and George

If you remember the 1st day of our cruise in Aruba, we met George and Cynthia at the evening meal when we’d shared a table. We had no idea that they were also staying at Southern Palms for a week too. They had stay here 20 years ago and wondered if it had changed and to get a photo at the same spot they’d had a photo back then. George and Cynthia were going to Saint Vincent to visit family for a few days and we’d meet back up with them for the last couple of days. 

But before they left (as they are so loving and kind)for Saint Vincent they knew it was our birthdays and as a complete surprise present they bought us a top each with Barbados written on them. Yes mine is the stupendous blue Carribbean shirt i’m wearing! 😀   

Me and Sarah with our birthday tops

 Right now we don’t have to fight against the wind all holiday…Let’s see what we’ll be doing on this cool excursion. 

Harrison’s Cave…

Go deeper underground with a visit to Harrison’s Cave. All limestone stalactites, caverns and grottoes, it’s like taking a trip to the moon. Add rock pools, streams and some red and orange mood-lighting, and it takes on a volcano-like edge. It’s easy to see why the locals call it one of the seven wonders of the island. Boarding a little electric tram, you’ll take a mile-long tour through the chambers, passing pillars formed by stalagmites and stalactites that have met in the middle. At the bottom, you’ll see the star of the show – a mighty waterfall below the ground.

The hard hat…

First off, take a comedy picture once you’ve put on your hard hat…Check! 🤣   

Me with Harrison's Cave hard hat

 We’d just listened to about 15 minutes of history inside a mini cinema type place before boarding this cool little tram, then it was into the darkness to find some light. 😀  

Harrison's cave in the dark with the lighting and running water

Harrison's cave in the dark with the lighting and running water

Harrison's cave in the dark with the lighting and running water

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

view of Harrison's cave in the dark with mood lighting

 Wow what a ride! We had a fantastic trip and were very thankful that we’d not had to walk as it would’ve been impossible. But sitting back and relaxing in the tram was fantastic and the guide was knowledgable and we learned lots! 😀  

Bac at room 112…

Wow i could stay here for the next 40 years, lol! 🤣  

Sarah stood at room 112

Sarah sat at room 112

Me stood in room 112

Me and Sarah sat at 112

Me and Sarah gugging at room 112

 The sea and the sunset…

“Quick Steve there’s still time to play in the sea before the evening meal and sunset” Sarah said as she blasted past me and ran for the sea, lol! 🤣  ☀️  

Sarah on Dover beach

Palm trees sunset

 Wow what a sunset on another blessed day! Thanks so much for taking the Barbados underground with us on this monumental adventure. 😀 

To be continued… 

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This is not mine to keep!

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This is not mine to keep!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21 

Christian! If you have anything that you prize very highly, hold it very loosely–for you may easily lose it. 

Hold everything earthly with a loose hand, but grasp eternal things with a deathlike grip.

Of everything on earth, it is wise for us to say, “This is not mine to keep!” It is essential to realize that this it is true, for everything here is temporary.

Mind what you are doing–you prosperous people, you who have nice homes, you who are hoarding up money. There is nothing permanent for you here on earth. Your home is in Heaven–your home is not here. If you find your treasure here–your heart will be here also. 

You must keep all earthly treasures out of your heart. 

Let Christ be your treasure, and let Him have your heart!

“This world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God, will live forever!” 1 John 2:17 

☀️ #63 The Blind Sightseers “Escape The Lockdown” With Distant Memories: “Barbados #1” 🇧🇧 (2019)

Barbados logo

 Good morning friends!

Welcome to 🌴 Southern Palms 🌴…!

Yay, it’s also my birthday today! We’d managed to book this cruise and stay which covered both of our birthdays, and after Sarah’s ‘Unimog Birthday Blitz” i knew this would be a little more relaxed! After our amazing time here last year…We’d said if ever we had the chance to come back here we’d try and book room 112. Last year we had a side room which had no window at all but 112 faced directly south and looked out over the stupendous beach, palm trees and sea. I’d messaged Southern Palms to ask if they could hold the room for us…And they did! 😀 ☀️ 🌴

Walking into the room was simply breathtaking and we couldn’t believe the view from our room…And also from our balcony…  

Room 112 Southern Palms

Room 112 Southern Palms view from the door to the balcony with the beach and palm trees as the landscape

 Wow we have a week of this view, i think i’m going to have a hard time leaving the room, lol! 😀  

It didn’t take long for us to unpack and make this our new home, then we quickly walked up to the reception to see if we could book ourselves to get birthday braides. The staff were incredibly friendly and knew we’d be back! The on site salon didn’t open until the next day so we didn’t have long to cope with fluffy hair, lol. As we are the ‘Blind Sightseers’ we also booked an excursion to ‘Harrison’s Cave’ tomorrow as we missed doing it last year. 😀  

Before we had a walk along the gap to see if our favourite cafe was still there, it was time tfor Sarah to put her feet on the sand and have a paddle in the sea. As you could tell from the photos of our room (above) it wouldn’t take long! 🤣   

Sarah and the Bajan blast…  

Sarah running on Barbados beach

Sarah playing Bajan blast

Sarah playing Bajan blast

Sarah playing Bajan blast

Sarah playing Bajan blast

Sarah playing Bajan blast

My birthday treat…

I know it looks like Sarah is having all of the fun, but for me to watch (well listen) to Sarah laughing, playing and totally enjoying herself without having her insulin pump attached is one of my best feelings, and it’s certainly a birthday treat for me…Well one of them as i’m hoping they still do the ‘Southern Burger’ tonight. 😀  

Palm tree taken from our balcony

Southern Palms with me stood on our balcony on the bottom right of the hotel

The Gap…

Right…All of that standing still and taking photos of my lovely wife Sarah whilst being burnt to a crisp is really thirsty work, so let’s go and see if the ‘Sharkey’s Tropical Cafe’ is still there.  

Sharkeys cafe in Barbados

Sharkey s Tropical Cafe Sign

Sarah sat with an iced coffee in the very colourful Sharkey's Tropical Cafe

 Southern Palms…

IMG 1851

After a couple of hours on the gap it wasn’t long before the sunset would be blessing us with it’s slow descent, then it’d be time for the evening meal until we could sit on our balcony to watch the sun completely disappear! We did this every night and it was stunning every time! 😀  

 Evening meal…

DING DING DING DING” Although it was my birthday Sarah’s ‘Blind Sightseers Gastronomic Leaderboard’ bell went off…It was for the best ‘Shrimp Cocktail’ she’d ever tasted, anywhere! 😀  

The shrimp cocktail

 And guess what?? They still did the ‘Southern Burger’ and it was consistently stupendous for the whole week. As you know this burger hit the top of my leaderboard last year so no bell this year for me…Just the amazing taste! 🍔  😀 Oh and it’s my birthday too…What a time to have the ‘Magnum Opus’ of the southern palms.! 😀  

Southern burger

Fruit

 Sunset and the rocks…

Now it was time for us to walk off some of that delicious food, and take a lovely slow walk along the Barbados beach until we reach the rocks for the sunset. We needed to get back to our room before the sun set totally as it would be too dark and our eyes really don’t work in the dark! We had just enough time for Sarah to say hello to you guys!  

Sarah sunset

sunset behind lots of palm trees

 The balcony of 112…

I asked Sarah if she could take a monumental birthday panorama for me from the balcony… 

Room 112 balcony view

 After i thanked her and we were sitting down enjoying the sunset, saying hello to the other guests as they walked by Sarah said “Wait a minute…I’ve never seen that before?!” She stood up looking to the right and then to the left. “Steve, the moon is shining over there on the left, and the sun is shining over there on the right, let me try and get them both in a panorama”. 

Panorama with a sunet in the far right and the moon on the far left

 Wow…I have never seen anything like this before! Have you? 🤔

Thanks for joining us today, and What a way to end my birthday and begin our Barbados blessing. 

To be continued… 

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I am eternally His!

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I am eternally His!

(Thomas Brooks)

I am His by election, and I am His by regeneration. 
I am His by purchase, and I am His by conquest. 
I am His by covenant, and I am His by marriage. 
I am wholly His. 
I am supremely His. 
I am particularly His. 
I am eternally His!

Once I was a slave, but now I am His dear son.
Once I was spiritually dead, but now I am spiritually alive.
Once I was in darkness, but now I walk in light.
Once I was a child of wrath and an heir of Hell, but now I am an heir of Heaven.
Once I was Satan’s slave, but now I am God’s freeman.
Once I was under the spirit of bondage, but now I have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby I cry, “Abba, Father!”

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