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Shall we refuse to give unto God’s children this valuable bread, merely because dogs snap at it!

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Shall we refuse to give unto God’s children this valuable bread, merely because dogs snap at it!

(Arthur Pink)

“Not only that, but Rebekah’s children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad–in order that God’s purpose in¬†election¬†might stand: not by works but by him who calls–she was told, “The older will serve the younger.” Just as it is written: “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” Romans 9:10-13

We ask the reader–ought not the doctrine of¬†election¬†to be plainly and freely proclaimed?¬†

If God’s Word is full of it,¬†
if the gospel cannot be Scripturally preached without it, 
if the grace of God cannot be maintained when it is suppressed,
if the proclamation of it abases man into the dust, 
if it is a divinely appointed means of faith, 
if it is a powerful incentive unto the promotion of holiness, 
if it stirs up the spirit of praise in the soul, 
if it establishes the Christian in his eternal security, 
if it is such a source of stability to the child of God, 
if it supplies encouragement to praying souls,
if it works in us a sweet submission to the divine will–
then¬†shall we refuse to give unto God’s children this valuable bread, merely because dogs snap at it!
 
Shall we withhold from the¬†sheep¬†this vital ingredient of their food–simply because the¬†goats¬†cannot digest it!

The infinite tenderness of Jesus!

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The infinite tenderness of Jesus!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd sacrifices His life for the sheep!” John 10:11¬†

“He will carry the lambs in His bosom, holding them close to His heart!” Isaiah 40:11

Who is He of whom such gracious words are spoken? He is the Good Shepherd. Why does He carry the lambs in His bosom? Because He has a tender heart, and any weakness in His redeemed children at once melts His heart. 

The sighs, the ignorance, the feebleness of the little ones of His flock draw forth His compassion. 

He is considerate of the weak of His flock. He purchased them with His blood, they are His property–He must and will care for those who cost Him so dear.¬†

He is responsible for each lamb, bound by covenant engagements not to lose one. They are all a part of His glory and reward. 

“He carries the lambs in His bosom!”

Here is boundless affection. Would He put them in His bosom if He did not love them so much? 

Here is tender nearness. So near are they, that they could not possibly be nearer. 

Here is¬†hallowed familiarity. There are precious ‘love passages’ between Christ and His weak ones.¬†

Here is¬†perfect safety. In His bosom, who can hurt them? None can snatch them away from His omnipotence! They can never perish–ever!¬†

Here is perfect rest and sweetest comfort. 

Surely we are not sufficiently sensible of the infinite tenderness of Jesus!

Unless our study of Scripture . . .

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Unless our study of Scripture . . .

“He who says he abides in Him, ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” 1 John 2:6

(Arthur Pink)

Unless our study of Scripture¬†is conforming us, both inwardly and outwardly, to the image of Christ–it profits us not!

“Leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21


True Christianity!

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True Christianity!

(J.C. Ryle)

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain!” Philippians 1:21¬†

True Christianity is not merely the believing a certain set of theological propositions.

It is to live in daily personal communication with an actual living person–Jesus the Son of God!

“The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me!” Galatians 2:20¬†

“Consider carefully how you listen!” Luke 8:18

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“Consider carefully how you listen!”¬†Luke 8:18¬†

We learn from this verse,¬†the great importance of right hearing.¬†The words of our Lord Jesus Christ ought to impress that lesson deeply on our hearts. He says, “Consider carefully how you listen!

The degree of benefit which men receive from all the¬†means of grace–depends entirely on the¬†way¬†in which they use them.¬†

Private PRAYER lies at the very foundation of religion–yet the mere formal repetition of a set of words, when “the heart is far away”–does good to no man’s soul.¬†

Reading the BIBLE is essential to the attainment of sound Christian knowledge–yet the mere formal reading of so many chapters as a task and duty, with out a humble desire to be taught of God, is little better than a waste of time.¬†

Just as it is with¬†praying¬†and¬†Bible reading–so it is with LISTENING. It is not enough that we go to Church and hear sermons. We may do so for fifty years, and be nothing bettered, but rather worse! “Consider carefully,” says our Lord, “how¬†you listen!”

Would anyone know how to listen aright? Then let him lay to heart three simple rules: 

For one thing, we must listen with FAITH, believing implicitly that every Word of God is true, and shall stand. The Word in old time did not profit the Jews, “not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” Hebrews 4:2¬†

For another thing, we must listen with REVERENCE–remembering constantly that the Bible is¬†the book of God. This was the habit of the Thessalonians. They received Paul’s message, “not as the word of men–but the Word of God.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13¬†

Above all, we must listen with PRAYER–praying for God’s blessing before the sermon is preached, and praying for God’s blessing again when the sermon is over. Here lies the grand defect of the hearing of many. They¬†ask¬†no blessing–and so they¬†receive¬†none. The sermon passes through their minds like water through a leaky vessel, and leaves nothing behind.

Let us bear these rules in mind every Sunday morning, before we go to hear the Word of God preached. Let as not rush into God’s presence careless, reckless, and unprepared–as if it did not matter how we listened. Let us carry with us faith, reverence, and prayer. If these three are our companions–then we shall listen with profit, and return with praise!

They have often destroyed, by their daily lives–the whole work of their lips!

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They have often destroyed, by their daily lives–the whole work of their lips!

(J.C. Ryle, “The Gospel of Luke” 1858)

“He told them: Take nothing for the journey–no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town.” Luke 9:3-4¬†

Let us observe that our Lord charges His apostles, when He sends them forth–to study¬†simplicity of habits, and¬†contentment¬†with such things as they have.¬†

These instructions contain a lesson for all time. The spirit of these verses is meant to be remembered by all¬†ministers¬†of the Gospel. The leading idea which the words convey–is a warning against¬†worldliness¬†and¬†luxurious habits.¬†

Well would it be for the world and the Church, if the warning had been more carefully heeded! From no quarter has Christianity received such damage–as it has from the hands of its own ministers! On no point have its ministers erred so much, and so often–as in the matter of personal¬†worldliness, and¬†luxury of life.¬†They have often destroyed, by their daily lives–the whole work of their lips!¬†They have given occasion to the enemies of religion to say that they love ease, and money, and earthly things–far more than souls.¬†

From such ministers, may we pray daily that the Church may be delivered! They are a living stumbling-block in the way to Heaven. They are helpers to the cause of the devil–and not of God. The preacher whose affections are set on money, and finery and feasting, and pleasure-seeking–has clearly mistaken his vocation. He has forgotten his Master’s instructions. He is not an apostolic man!

Your daughter is dead!

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Your daughter is dead!

(J.C. Ryle, “The Gospel of Luke” 1858)

“While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue ruler. ‘Your daughter is dead!‘ he said.” Luke 8:49¬†

Let us notice in this verse–how¬†universal¬†is the dominion which¬†death¬†holds over mankind. We see death coming to a rich man’s house, and tearing from him¬†the desire of his eyes¬†with a stroke!¬†

Such tidings as these, are¬†the bitterest cups¬†which we have to drink in this world. Nothing cuts so deeply into man’s heart–as to part with beloved ones, and lay them in the grave. Few griefs are so crushing and heavy–as the grief of a parent over the death of an only child.

Death is indeed a cruel enemy! He makes no distinction in his attacks. He comes to the rich man’s mansion–as well as to the poor man’s cottage. He does not spare the young, the strong, and the beautiful–any more than the old, the infirm, and the grey-haired. Not all the gold of Australia, nor all the skill of doctors–can keep the hand of death from our bodies, in the day of his power. When the appointed hour comes, and God permits him to smite–then our worldly schemes must be broken off, and our¬†darlings¬†must be taken away and buried out of our sight.

These thoughts are melancholy, and few like to hear of them. The subject of death is one that men shut their eyes at, and refuse to look at.¬†“All men think all men mortal, but themselves!”¬†But why should we treat this great reality in this way? Why should we not rather look the subject of death in the face, in order that¬†when our turn comes–we may be prepared to die?¬†

Death will come to our houses, whether we like it or not. Death will take each of us away–despite our dislike to hearing about it. Surely it is the part of a wise man to get ready for this great change.¬†

Why should we not be ready? There is one who can deliver us from the fear of death. Christ has overcome death, and “brought life and immortality to light through the Gospel.” He who believes on Him, has everlasting life. Though he dies–yet shall he live.

Let us believe in the Lord Jesus–and then death will lose his sting. We shall then be able to say with Paul,¬†“To me, to die is gain!”Philippians 1:21

Think of all the hard things there are in your life

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Think of all the hard things there are in your life

(Susannah Spurgeon, “Words of Cheer and Comfort for Sick and Sorrowful Souls!” 1898)

“Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm.¬†There is nothing too hard for You!”¬†Jeremiah 32:17

“Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: I am the LORD, the God of all mankind.¬†Is anything too hard for Me?”¬†Jeremiah 32:26-27

Dear reader, your difficulties and trials may not be similar to those of “the weeping prophet”–but they are very¬†real, and seemingly¬†insurmountable¬†to you. It is a fact that, of yourself, you can neither¬†overcome¬†nor¬†endure¬†them. So I want to remind you that the Lord’s hand is not shortened–that what was true of His power in Jeremiah’s time, is as certainly true today. Whatever present¬†hardship¬†may press upon you, or whatever¬†burden¬†may be weighing you down–you, yes,¬†you¬†may look up to Him with confident faith, and say,¬†“There is nothing too hard for You!”

Oh, the blessed peace which such an assurance brings! I do not know what your particular¬†sorrow¬†or¬†hardship¬†may be–but I do know that, whatever its nature–cruel, or bitter, or hopeless–it is as “nothing” to Him! He is able to deliver you–as easily as you can call upon Him for support and help.¬†

Now, dear friend, think of all the hard things there are in your life: 
  poor circumstances,
  difficult duties,
  grievous pains,
  sore struggles,
  bitter disappointments,
  harsh words,
  sinful thoughts,
  a hard heart of your own,
  a hard heart in others. 
Gather all these, and many more together, and pile them one on another until you have¬†one great mountain of afflictions–and your God still calmly asks the question:¬†“Is there anything too hard for Me?”

When our hearts are¬†weary¬†of life’s cares and crosses, when our¬†courage¬†flags because of our helplessness, and we cry out with the patriarch,¬†“All these things are against me!”–then what a support and stronghold is the fact that our God has all power in heaven and on earth!¬†There is nothing too¬†mighty¬†for Him to manage–there is nothing too¬†insignificant¬†to escape His notice!Jeremiah’s faith . . .
  sees no obstacles, 
  stumbles at no hindrances,
  faints under no burden,
  shrinks from no responsibilities
–because he realizes the¬†sublime Omnipotence¬†of God, and fortifies himself by calling to remembrance His “outstretched arm” in the¬†creation¬†of the heavens and the earth. Cannot¬†we¬†do likewise?

I took up a book in a leisure moment the other day, opened it carelessly, and this is what I read: “It is a scientifically proved fact, that this great globe on which we live, spins around on its axis at the rate of a thousand miles an hour, and propels through space in its orbit at a speed immensely greater!”¬†

The thought of this, seemed almost to take away my breath! Was I calmly and constantly living in¬†the swirl of such a stupendous miracle¬†as this? Then surely I could say, “Ah, Lord God! there is nothing too hard for You! My little troubles and afflictions–howsmall¬†they must be to You! Yet with what tender compassion, do You stoop from guiding the worlds in their courses–to support and comfort the hearts of those who fear You!”

Never let us give up in despair, while we have¬†such a God¬†to trust in. If there is a great¬†mountain of sorrow or difficulty¬†in your way, dear friend–do not be cast down by the darkness of its shadow. Your God can either make a way for you¬†through¬†it–or He can guide you¬†around¬†it–or, just as easily, He can¬†carry you right over it!¬†There is nothing too hard for Him! Expect Him to make the crooked things straight, and to bring the high things low. And while you keep humbly at His feet, He will work wondrously, and you shall see His salvation!

No sin can be little!

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No sin can be little!

(John Bunyan)

No sin can be little, because it is committed against the great God of heaven and earth. 

To commit little sins–the sinner must find a little god!¬†

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the¬†forgiveness¬†of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace!” Ephesians 1:7

“The blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from¬†all¬†sin.” 1 John 1:7

The characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit!

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The characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit!

(J.C. Ryle)

John¬†said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him:¬†You brood of vipers!¬†Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath! Produce¬†fruit¬†in keeping with repentance!” Luke 3:7-8

Well would it be for the Church of Christ, if it possessed more plain-speaking ministers like John the Baptist.
  A morbid dislike to strong language;
  an excessive fear of giving offence;
¬† a constant flinching from directness and plain speaking–
are, unhappily, too much the characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit!

Uncharitable¬†language is no doubt always to be deprecated. But there is no ‘charity’ in¬†flattering unconverted people–by abstaining from any mention of their vices, or in applying smooth names to their damnable sins!

There are¬†two texts which are too much forgotten by Christian preachers. In one it is written, “Woe unto you–when all men shall¬†speak well¬†of you!” (Luke 6:26)

In the other it is written, “Obviously, I’m not trying to be a¬†people pleaser!¬†No, I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please people–I would not be Christ’s servant.” (Galatians 1:10)

The sword of God’s truth!

Grace logoThe sword of God’s truth!
 
(Arthur Pink, “Faithfulness”)
 
“Their speech is filled with flattery.”¬†Psalm 5:9
 
This is the identifying mark of the “hireling,” the false pastor. He aims at pleasing his hearers, making them feel satisfied with themselves, ever patting them on the back.¬†
 
“But he who has My Word–let him speak My Word faithfully” (Jeremiah 23:28)–no matter how unpalatable it may be to the flesh, how much of a weariness to those who wish to have their ears tickled with novelties, or how loud the outcry against it is!¬†
 
Ministerial faithfulness includes . . .
  loyalty to his Master, 
  devotion to His interests, 
  steadfast adherence to the preaching of His Word,
  dispensing the truth unto those whose souls are committed to Him,
  not mixing it with his speculations, much less substituting false doctrine.

A far higher motive than the pleasing of his hearers must actuate and regulate ministerial service. 

Faithful preaching¬†will render the minister unpopular, and will¬†empty¬†churches–not¬†fill them!
 
“Then you will know the¬†truth–and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) Souls are¬†caught fast in the meshes of Satan’s lies–and nothing but¬†the sword of God’s truth¬†can cut them free!¬†
 
“A faithful man–who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6).¬†Why is this?¬†Because it is the part of fallen human nature to take the line of least resistance, and choose the path easiest to the flesh. But remember, my reader, whoever you are, that, “Lying lips are abomination to the Lord–but those who deal faithfully are His delight.” (Proverbs 12:22)
 
“Be faithful unto death–and I will give you a crown of life!” (Revelation 2:10)

Sarah & I Visit Westminster Chapel

Me at Westminster Chapel

⇧ Me stood in front of Westminster Chapel ⇧ 

A few days ago Sarah & i finally got to visit Westminster Chapel. I’ve always wanted to visit since i first heard Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones preach via podcast and now on the MLJ Sermons iPhone app. As i listen to one of his sermons every night(there are around 1600 on the app) i’d always wanted to go and see.

 The Chapel was closed but Sarah and i had a lovely Cappuccino in the Royal Quarters Cafe directly over the road.

Since i’m posting, I thought i’d add last nights sermon as i go through Ephesians(see Youtube video below) as it not only convicts and moves me….It also edifies and builds me up. It’s solid meat and a huge feast every time as he never fails to feed the sheep.

Wise counsel for Preachers

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Wise counsel for Preachers

The year was 1768. A twenty-eight year old preacher by the name of¬†Augustus Toplady, who wrote many of our best hymns, including “Rock of Ages”, spent the afternoon in London with Mr. Brewer–an older, veteran Gospel preacher, whom he greatly admired and from whom he learned much. This is what Mr. Brewer said to the young Toplady, as Toplady later recorded in his diary:¬†

“I cannot conclude without reminding you, my young brother, of some things that may be of use to you in the course of your ministry:

    1. Preach Christ crucified, and dwell chiefly on the blessings resulting from His righteousness, atonement, and intercession.

¬†¬†¬† 2.¬†Avoid all¬†needless controversies¬†in the pulpit–except it be when your subject necessarily requires it; or when the truths of God are likely to suffer by your silence.

¬†¬†¬† 3.¬†When you ascend the pulpit, leave your¬†learning¬†behind you. Endeavor to preach more to the¬†hearts¬†of your people–than to their¬†heads.

¬†¬†¬† 4.¬†Do not affect too much¬†oratory. Seek rather to¬†profit¬†your hearers–than to be¬†admired¬†by them.”

Christian ministers would do well to print out these four simple principles, tuck them in their Bibles, are refer to them every time they preach!

Tenderly and graciously does He deal with us!

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Tenderly and graciously does He deal with us!

(Francis Bourdillon, “A Psalm of Blessing!” 1864)

“For He knows how weak we are–He remembers we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone–as though we had never been here! But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear Him.” Psalm 103:14-17

The¬†shortness¬†and¬†uncertainty¬†of our lives–our weakness, frailty, and sinfulness–God knows them all.¬†Tenderly and graciously does He deal with us!¬†In His great mercy and compassion, He . . .
  bears with us;
  raises us when we fall;
  strengthens us when we are weak; and
  helps, guides, sustains and comforts us. 

He has . . .
  a perfect knowledge of our needs, 
  an unspeakable compassion for them,
  and full power to supply them all.

His mercy is everlasting. It will never wear out–and never come to an end.¬†

As for us, we are frail and short-lived. Let but a few years pass, and . . .
  the strongest will have fallen to the sythe of death,
  the longest-lived will have all passed away, and
  our own course here below will have come to a close. 
“Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone–as though we had never been here!”¬†

Not so is the mercy of the Lord, and the things which He has prepared for those who love Him. They are from everlasting to everlasting. His promises will never fail. Jesus is . . .
  an all-sufficient Savior,
  an unfailing Advocate,
  an everlasting portion!

Well may every believer join with the Psalmist in rejoicing and praising God,
¬†¬† “Praise the¬†LORD, O my soul–all my inmost being, praise His holy name!
¬† ¬†¬†Praise the¬†LORD, O my soul–and do not forget all His benefits!”¬†Psalm 103:1-2

A man who hears many sermons

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A man who hears many sermons

(Charles Spurgeon)

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

It is well to¬†meditate¬†upon the things of God–because it is only by¬†pondering¬†the Scriptures, that we get the real nutriment out of them.¬†A man who hears many sermons–is not necessarily well-instructed in the faith. We may read so many religious books that we overload our brains, and they may be unable to work under the weight of the great mass of paper and of printer’s ink.

The man who reads but one book, and that book his Bible, and then meditates much upon it–will be a better scholar in Christ’s school than he who merely reads hundreds of books, and does not meditate at all!

Oh, that we might get into the very¬†heart¬†of the Word of God–and get that Word into ourselves!¬†

As I have seen the silkworm eat into the leaf and consume it, so ought we to do with the Word of the Lord–not crawl over its surface, but eat right into it until we have taken it into our inmost parts. It is idle merely to let the eye glance over the words, or to recollect the poetic expressions, or the historic facts; but it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your very style is fashioned upon Scripture models–and, what is better still, your spirit is redolent with the words of the Lord!

“Your words were found, and I devoured them, and Your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart!” Jeremiah 15:16¬†

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth;¬†meditate¬†on it day and night, so that you may be careful to¬†do¬†everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful!” Joshua 1:8

The one who profits me most!

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The one who profits me most!

(Arthur Pink)

“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

I will name some of the criteria by which I measure the helpfulness of a preacher or writer to my own soul. 

The one who profits me most, is the man . . .
  whose ministry brings the most awe of a holy and sovereign God into my heart,
  who reveals my sinfulness and failures to me,
  who conveys the most light on my path of duty,
  who makes Christ most precious to me,
  who encourages me to press forward along the narrow way.

“Watch your life and doctrine closely.” 1 Timothy 4:16

Alas, how cold are our hearts, how trifling are our thoughts, how small is our zeal and love!

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Alas, how cold are our hearts, how trifling are our thoughts, how small is our zeal and love! 

(Francis Bourdillon, “We Need Stirring Up!” 1864)

“For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to¬†stir you up¬†by reminding you!” 2 Peter 1:12-13¬†

We need stirring up–not so much to be taught something new, as to be stirred up as to what we have learned already.¬†

Most of us have long ago been taught the facts and doctrines of the gospel. Probably we know them well. Perhaps we are even firmly “established in the present truth.” We have learned of¬†Heaven¬†and¬†Hell¬†and¬†eternity. We have been taught our lost estate as sinners, and that Jesus died for sinners–that His precious blood has atoned for sin, that He has opened the way for us to the throne of grace and to acceptance with God. We have heard of¬†death¬†and of¬†judgment–and of the uncertainty of life and the shortness of time. We have been told . . .
¬† of Satan’s devices,
  of the value of prayer,
  of the mercy and love of God in Christ,
  and of the work of the Spirit.

What is our spiritual state, after so much teaching?¬†Alas, how cold are our hearts, how trifling are our thoughts, how small is our zeal and love!¬†How little we have of deep sorrow for sin–and how little sincere faith in Jesus! Where are the fruits of the Spirit in us? Where is . . .
  that deep concern,
  that earnest desire,
  that prayerfulness,
  that watchfulness,
  that warmth of feeling,
¬† that pressing toward the mark–
which might be expected in those who have learned such things?

We need stirring up! 

We should stir ourselves up by the Word of God. 
Let us apply it to ourselves and take it as if addressed to us.
Let us not listen to it or read it carelessly–but as¬†the message of God to us!¬†
Let us not be¬†hearers¬†only–but¬†doers¬†of the Word . . .
¬† receiving it as God’s message,
  pondering it in our minds,
  applying it to ourselves,
  believing it, and
  striving to live by it!

Let us also pray for the¬†quickening influence of God’s Holy Spirit. This alone can really . . .
  stir the depths of our hearts,
  rouse us from spiritual sloth and 
  give us new earnestness and zeal!

Nothing more quickly or truly indicates an irreverent and undevout mind!

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Nothing more quickly or truly indicates an irreverent and undevout mind!

(Octavius Winslow)

“Our Father in Heaven, may Your name be kept holy.” Matthew 6:9

Nothing more quickly or truly indicates an irreverent and undevout mind, than¬†levity on sacred subjects. The individual who can provoke a smile, or indulge in a cleverness, or shape a witticism–at the expense of what is divine and sacred–is blasphemous indeed! He who can treat in a light manner any religious subject, who can turn the Bible into a jest-book, and intersperse secular conversation with religious phraseology or Scripture language in sport–will the great God hold such an irreverent and profane mind guiltless?

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain–for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain!” Exodus 20:7


How loudly and persuasively does His conduct preach!

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How loudly and persuasively does His conduct preach!

(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

“He who says he abides in Christ, ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” 1 John 2:6

It was highly important and desirable that the Lord Jesus should not only¬†describe¬†Christianity in His discourses, but¬†exemplify¬†it in His life and conduct. In Him, we see pure and undefiled religion embodied. In Him, Christianity lives and breathes. How convincing, how animating is our Savior’s example!¬†How loudly and persuasively does His conduct preach!¬†

Would you learn submission to parental authority? See Him, notwithstanding His exalted character, cheerfully subjecting Himself to the will of His parents; and laboring with them, as a carpenter, for almost thirty years. 

Would you learn contentment with a poor and low condition? See Him destitute of a place where to lay His head. 

Would you learn active beneficence? See Him going about doing good. 

Would you learn to be fervent and constant in devotional exercises? See Him rising for prayer before the dawn of day. 

Would you learn in what manner to treat your brethren? See Him washing His disciples’ feet.¬†

Would you learn filial piety? See Him forgetting His sufferings, while in the agonies of death–to provide another son for His desolate mother.¬†

Would you learn in what manner to pray for relief under afflictions? See Him in the garden of Gethsemane. 

Would you learn how to bear insults and injuries? See Him on the cruel cross!

In short, there is no Christian grace or virtue, which is not beautifully exemplified in His life. 

There is scarcely any¬†situation, however perplexing, in which the Christian, who is at a loss to know how he ought to act–may not derive sufficient instruction from¬†the example of his divine Master.

“Leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21

Fanning the inextinguishable fire, and sharpening the tooth of the immortal worm!

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Fanning the inextinguishable fire, and sharpening the tooth of the immortal worm! 

(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

If you would learn the full extent of that wretchedness which sin produces--then you must follow it into the eternal world, and descend into those regions where peace and hope never come. There behold sin tyrannizing over its wretched victims with uncontrollable fury–fanning the inextinguishable fire, and sharpening the tooth of the immortal worm!

See angels and archangels, thrones and dominions, principalities and powers–stripped of all their original glory and beauty–bound in eternal chains, and burning with rage and malice against that Being in whose presence they once rejoiced, and whose praises they once sang!

See multitudes of the human race, in unutterable agonies of anguish and despair–cursing the Giver and Prolonger of their existence, and vainly wishing for annihilation to put an end to their miseries.¬†

Follow them through the long, long ages of eternity–and see them sinking deeper and deeper in the bottomless abyss of ruin! View them perpetually blaspheming God because of their plagues, and receiving the punishment of these blasphemies in continued additions to their wretchedness.¬†

Such are the wages of sin–such the doom of the finally impenitent!

From these depths of anguish and despair–look¬†up¬†to the mansions of the blessed, and see to what a height of glory and felicity, the grace of God will raise every sinner who repents. See those who are thus favored in unutterable ecstasies of joy, love, and praise–beholding God face to face, reflecting His perfect image, shining with a splendor like that of their glorious Redeemer, and¬†bathing in those rivers of pleasure¬†which flow forever at God’s right hand!¬†

Do you ask why He is angry?

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Do you ask why He is angry? 

I answer:

He is angry to see rational, immortal and accountable beings–spending twenty, forty, or sixty years in trifling and sin; serving numerous idols, lusts, and vanities, and living as if death were an eternal sleep!¬†

He is angry to see you forgetting your Maker in childhood, in youth, in manhood–and making no returns for all His benefits.

He is angry to see you casting off His fear and rebelling against Him–who has nourished and sustained you.¬†

He is angry to see you laying up treasures on earth–and not in Heaven.¬†

He is angry to see you seeking everything in preference to the one thing needful.

He is angry to see you loving the praise of men more than the praise of God; and fearing those who can only kill the body, more than Him who has power to cast both soul and body into Hell.

He is angry to see that you disregard alike His threatenings and His promises, His judgments and His mercies. 

He is angry that you bury in the earth the talents He has given you, and bring forth no fruit to His glory. 

He is angry that you neglect His Word and His Son, and perish in impenitency and unbelief.

These are sins of which every person, in an unconverted state, is guilty. And for these things God is angry–daily¬†angry,¬†greatlyand¬†justly¬†angry! And unless His anger is speedily appeased, it will most certainly prove your everlasting destruction!

Some professors of religion are like the catbird!

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Some professors of religion are like the catbird!

(Charles Naylor, “How to Fertilize Love” 1920)

There are very many things that may choke¬†out love in the home. One of these is the¬†lack of kindness. If you have grown less kind in your feelings, in your actions, and in your words–then love cannot thrive. Kindness is one of the best fertilizers for love.¬†

There are so many people who have two sets of¬†tones¬†in which to speak–and two sets of¬†manners¬†in which they act. They have their¬†company¬†manners–and their¬†family¬†manners. When they have company–then the voice is soft and pleasant, and the manners are agreeable and kindly. They treat their friends with the greatest consideration; but as soon as their friends are gone, the pleasant voice changes into crossness or harshness and fault-finding–and the pleasantness of manner disappears! In how many homes is this true!

The greater¬†consideration, the greater¬†kindness–is due the¬†home¬†folks. Otherwise, love cannot flourish. If you wish to have love for your home folks–then you must show them the¬†consideration¬†that is due them.

Some professors of religion are like the catbird!
¬†When it is away from its nest–then it is one of the sweetest of the northern warblers; but when it is close to its nest–then you will hear only a harsh, discordant note. It has no sweetness in its voice while at its nest.

In the same way, some people reserve all their kindness, tenderness, and sweetness–for those¬†outside¬†the family circle. Is it any wonder that love dies in such a home?¬†

“Love must be without hypocrisy.” Romans 12:9¬†

He will sustain you!

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He will sustain you!

(J.R. Miller)

“Cast your burden upon the Lord–and¬†He will¬†sustain¬†you.” Psalm 55:22

The promise is not that the Lord will¬†remove¬†the load we cast upon Him, nor that He will¬†carry¬†it for us–but that He will¬†sustain¬†us so that¬†we¬†may carry it.
He does not¬†free¬†us from the duty–but He¬†strengthens¬†us for it.
He does not¬†deliver¬†us from the conflict–but He enables us to¬†overcome.¬†
He does not withhold or withdraw the trial from us–but He helps us in trial to be submissive and victorious, and makes it a blessing to us.¬†
He does not mitigate the hardness or severity of our circumstances, taking away the difficult elements, removing the thorns, making life¬†easy¬†for us–but He puts Divine grace into our hearts, so that we can live sweetly in all the hard, adverse circumstances.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9¬†

“I can do all things through Christ who¬†strengthens¬†me!” Philippians 4:13¬†

Fly into the bosom of Christ for refuge and safety!

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Fly into the bosom of Christ for refuge and safety!

(J.R. Miller, “Intimate Letters on Personal Problems” 1914)

“Whoever¬†humbles¬†himself like this child, is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:4¬†

It is very sweet just to¬†nestle down in the bosom of Christ–to be¬†as a little child¬†with Him. Those who come otherwise do not get near to Him–but the¬†child-like¬†always find a close place in His heart. So the more like children we can be in our trust and in the simplicity of our faith, in humbleness of disposition, in willingness to do His will and to learn of Him–the nearer to Him shall we get, and the more shall we enjoy of His love.¬†

Some years ago, as I was passing along one of our streets one afternoon, I heard a fluttering of birds over my head and, looking up, saw a little bird flying wildly about in circles, chased by a hawk! The bird flew down lower and lower, and then darted into my bosom, under my coat. I cannot quite express to you, the feeling which filled my heart at that moment–that a little bird, chased by an enemy, had come to me for¬†refuge, trusting me in time of¬†danger. I laid my hand over the bird, which nestled as quietly and confidently under my coat, as a baby would in a mother’s bosom. I carried the little thing along for several blocks until I thought the way was clear of danger, and then let it out. It flew away into the air again, but showed no fear of me. Ever since that experience, I have understood better what it is to¬†fly into the bosom of Christ for refuge and safety¬†in time of danger, or in time of distress.¬†

All this helps me to understand better¬†what it means to Jesus¬†when we, hunted and chased by enemies, or suffering from weakness or pain–fly to Him and hide ourselves in His love.

That is all we need to do–just to creep into the bosom of Christ, and lie down there, with no fear, no anxiety, but with simple trust.

The lines of Wesley’s old hymn have meant more to me ever since:

“Jesus, lover of my soul,
 Let me to Thy bosom fly,
 While the nearer waters roll,
 While the tempest still is high.

 Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
 Till the storm of life is past;
 Safe into the haven guide;
 Oh, receive my soul at last.

 Other refuge have I none,
 Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
 Leave, ah! leave me not alone,
 Still support and comfort me.

 All my trust on Thee is stayed,
 All my help from Thee I bring;
 Cover my defenseless head
¬†With the shadow of Thy wing.”

A clean path to Hell!

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A clean path to Hell!

(Charles Spurgeon)

Unbelief will destroy the best of us!

Faith will save the worst of us!

There is¬†a clean path to Hell–as well as a dirty one.¬†

You will be lost if you trust to your good works–as surely as if you trusted in your sins.¬†

There is a road to perdition along the ‘highway of morality’–as surely as down the ‘slough of vice’!¬†

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us!” Titus 3:5¬†

You have a heart fit to do the deed!

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You have a heart fit to do the deed!

(J.C. Ryle, “The Gospel of Luke” 1858)

“But they kept shouting:¬†Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”¬†Luke 23:21¬†

Let us often pray that we may thoroughly understand the sinfulness of man’s heart.¬†

Christ is never fully valued–until sin is clearly seen.¬†

We must know the depth and malignity of our disease–in order to appreciate the great Physician.

Few of us, it may be feared, have the least conception of the strength and virulence of the spiritual disease with which we are born! Few entirely realize that “the carnal mind is enmity against God,” and that unconverted human nature, if it had the power–would cast its Maker down from His throne and crucify Him!¬†

The behavior of the Jews before us–is only a picture of what every natural man would do to God, if he only could!¬†

If the bosom of God were within the reach of men, it would be stabbed a million of times in one moment! If the bosom of God were now within your reach, and one blow would rid the universe of God–you have a heart fit to do the deed!”¬†Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Remember that you are the son of a king!

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Remember that you are the son of a king!

(William S. Plumer, “Sinners Saved by Unmerited Kindness”)

When a prince was about to travel, he asked his tutor for some maxims by which to govern his behavior. 
He received this answer: “Remember that you are the son of a king!”¬†

Let all Christians remember that they are the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty–and “if sons, then heirs, heirs of God, and¬†joint heirs with Jesus Christ!

“You are . . .¬†
  a chosen people,
  a royal priesthood,
  a holy nation,
¬† God’s special possession
–chosen that you may proclaim the excellence of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light!” 1 Peter 2:9¬†

Jesus Christ is completely sufficient!

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Jesus Christ is completely sufficient!

“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and¬†you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power!” Colossians 2:9-10¬†

One of the great tenets of Scripture, is the claim that Jesus Christ is completely sufficient for all matters of life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4)! 

He is sufficient for:
  creation (Colossians 1:16-17)
  salvation (Hebrews 10:10-12)
  sanctification (Ephesians 5:26-27)
  and glorification (Romans 8:30). 

So pure is He, that there is no blemish, stain, spot of sin, defilement, deception, corruption, error, or imperfection in Him! (1 Peter 1:18-20)

So complete is He, that . . .
  there is no other God besides Him (Isaiah 45:5)
  He is the only begotten Son (John 1:14, John 1:18)
  all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Him (Colossians 2:3)
  the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Him (Colossians 2:9)
  He is heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2)
¬† He created all things–and all things were made¬†
      by Him, through Him, and for Him (Colossians 1:16)
  He upholds all things by the word of His power (Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1:3)
  He is the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15)
  He is the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1:3).

He has no beginning and no end (Revelation 1:17-18) 
He is the spotless Lamb of God (John 1:29)
He is our peace (Ephesians 2:14) 
He is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1) 
He is our life (Colossians 3:4) 
He is the living and true Way (John 14:6) 
He is the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16) 
He is Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11) 
He is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2) 
He is Captain of our Salvation (Hebrews 2:10)  
He is the Elect One (Isaiah 42:1) 
He is the Apostle and High-Priest of our confession (Hebrews 3:1) 
He is the Righteous Servant (Isaiah 53:11).
He is the Lord Almighty (Malachi 3:17)
He is the Redeemer (Isaiah 41:14)
He is the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 54:5)
He is the God of the whole earth (Isaiah 54:5) 
He is the Man of Sorrows (Isaiah 53:3) 
He is the Light of the world (John 9:5)
He is the Son of Man (Matthew 20:28) 
He is the true Vine (John 15:5)
He is the Bread of Life (John 6:48)
He is the Door to Heaven (John 10:7)
He is the Sovereign Lord (Philippians 2:10-13) 
He is Prophet, Priest and King (Hebrews 1:1-3) 
He is our Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4:9) 
He is our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6) 
He is the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, 
   the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) 
He is the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4) 
He is the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5)
He is the Rock of Salvation (Psalm 62:2)
He is the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13)
He is the Counselor and Comforter (John 14:26)
He is the Messiah (John 4:25-26) and 
He is the great I AM (John 8:58)!

Where is Christ in your theological system?

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Where is Christ in your theological system? 

(Charles Spurgeon)

“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning¬†Himself.” Luke 24:27¬†

“These are the Scriptures that testify about¬†Me!” John 5:39¬†

Take this Book and distill it into one word–and that one word will be JESUS! The Bible itself, is but the body of Christ, and we may look upon all its pages as the swaddling bands of the infant Savior–for if we unroll the Scripture, we come upon Jesus Christ Himself.

Where is Christ in your theological system? 
He Himself is . . .
  the Doctor and Doctrine, 
  the Revealer and Revelation, 
  the Illuminator and the Light of men. 

He is exalted in every word of truth, because He is its sum and substance. 

He sits above the gospel, like a prince on His own throne. 

Doctrine is most precious, when we see it distilling from His lips and embodied in His person. 

Sermons are only valuable, in proportion as they speak of Him and point to Him!

Look at it–there is blood still upon the handle!

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Look at it–there is blood still upon the handle!¬†

(Charles Spurgeon)

A sight of Christ on the cross will cause us to hate our sins. 

If you ever, by the¬†eye of faith, see Jesus Christ dying for you–sin will never be sweet to you again.¬†

What was it that slew our blessed Lord? It was our sin!

When we discover that our iniquities put our dearest and best Friend to death, we vow revenge against our iniquities, and henceforth hate them with a perfect hatred. 

Let me illustrate this very simply: 
Here is a¬†knife¬†with a richly carved ivory handle–a knife of excellent workmanship. Yonder woman, we will suppose, has had a dear child murdered by a cruel enemy. This knife is hers, she is pleased with it, and prizes it much. How can I make her throw that knife away? I can do it easily, for that is the knife with which her child was murdered!¬†Look at it–there is blood still upon the handle!She drops it as though it were a scorpion–she cannot bear it. “Put it away,” says she, “it killed my child! Oh, hateful thing!”¬†

Now,¬†sin¬†is such a hateful thing. We play with it until we are told that it was sin which killed the Lord Jesus, who died out of love to us–pure, self-sacrificing love. Then we say, “Hateful thing–be gone! How can I endure you!”¬†

See there the wounds of the Son of God; 
behold the crimson stains on His blessed body;
mark the thorn-crown; 
gaze upon those pierced hands; 
weep over the nailed feet; 
see the deep gash which the lance made in His side! 

Sin did this cruel work–this bloody deed!¬†

Down with our sins!
Drag them to the cross!
Slay them at Calvary!
Let not one of them escape, for they are the murderers of Christ!

“It was you, my sins, my cruel sins,
  His chief tormentors were;
  Each of my crimes became a nail,
¬† And unbelief the spear!”¬†

Every feature of this hideous monster!

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Every feature of this hideous monster!

(Thomas Charles, “Sanctification” 1838)

Meditation on the sufferings and death of Jesus, produces a hatred towards sin. 

It was sin which made it necessary for the Lord of glory to come down from Heaven and take on Him the form of a servant. Sin was the cause of His deep humiliation, abasement and sufferings.¬†Viewing sin through the cross–the believer abhors it, and regards it with perfect hatred. He therefore diligently strives against it, and strenuously resists Satan, from whose iron chains he could never have been delivered, had it not been for the death of the Son of God.¬†

Sin will never appear in its own deformity and horrid nature–until we see it in its effects in the Son of God–until we “behold the Lamb of God” bearing our sin on the cruel tree. Christ crucified, like a magnifying glass–exhibits to view¬†every feature of this hideous monster!

‘Anything rather than sin!’¬†is the language of the Christian’s heart!¬†

“A bleeding Savior I have viewed–and now I hate my sin!”
 John Newton

“Look to the cross, and hate your sin–for sin nailed your Well-Beloved to the accursed tree!”¬†Charles Spurgeon

Yet it is a profitable loss!

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Yet it is a profitable loss!

(Thomas Charles, “The Benefits of Affliction” 1838)

“God disciplines us for our profit, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:10-11¬†

Inasmuch as God has assured us that He causes all things to work together for our good–patience and resignation to the divine will in all things, is our duty. In His good time He may allow us to see such wisdom and goodness in all of our circumstances, as to fill our hearts with transports of joy. To follow Him is our part–without murmuring or complaining.

Nothing befalls us without a cause–no trouble comes upon us sooner, or presses more heavily, or continues longer–than what God knows that our case requires. What our short-sighted ignorance calls¬†adversities¬†or¬†evils–are in reality and truth, well-designed and gracious¬†blessings, and form a part of the means employed by God’s goodness and grace, to prepare us for the exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Away then with all impatience and all murmurings!

All our desire in this world, should be to live¬†holily¬†and live¬†usefully–and affliction, by the blessing of God, has great influence in promoting both. Sanctified affliction greatly promotes holiness, and is also a great preparative for usefulness. It is working out at the same time a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory in the eternal world. God always chastens us, for our profit. Though we may thereby lose earthly comforts, ease and enjoyments–yet it is a profitable loss. What we lose in these things–we gain in holiness. It is for our profit, to become partakers of His holiness.¬†

“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!” Romans 8:28

How kind and merciful Christ is to dull and slow believers

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How kind and merciful Christ is to dull and slow believers

(J.C. Ryle)

“Then He said to Thomas:¬†Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”¬†John 20:27¬†

We should mark in this verse,¬†how kind and merciful Christ is to dull and slow believers.¬†Nowhere, perhaps, in all the four Gospels, do we find this part of our Lord’s character so beautifully illustrated as in the story before our eyes.

It is hard to imagine anything more tiresome and provoking than the conduct of¬†Thomas, when even the testimony of ten faithful brethren had no effect on him, and he doggedly declared, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side–I will not believe!”¬†John 20:25

But it is impossible to imagine anything more patient and compassionate, than our Lord’s treatment of this weak disciple. He does not reject him, or dismiss him, or excommunicate him. He comes again at the end of a week, and apparently for the special benefit of¬†Thomas. He deals with him according to his weakness, like a gentle nurse dealing with a froward child, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side.” If nothing but the plainest, coarsest, most material evidence could satisfy him–even that evidence was supplied. Surely this was a¬†love¬†that surpasses knowledge, and a¬†patience¬†that passes understanding.

A passage of Scripture like this, we need not doubt, was written for the special comfort of all true believers. The Holy Spirit knew well that the¬†dull, and the¬†slow, and the¬†stupid, and the¬†doubting–are by far the commonest type of disciples in this evil world. The Holy Spirit has taken care to supply abundant evidence that Jesus is rich in patience as well as compassion, and that He bears with the infirmities of all His people.¬†

Let us take care that we drink into our Lord’s spirit, and copy His example. Let us never set down men as godless, because their faith is feeble and their love is cold. Let us remember the case of¬†Thomas–and be very compassionate and of tender mercy.¬†

Our Lord has . . .
  many weak children in His family,
  many dull pupils in His school,
  many raw soldiers in His army,
  many lame sheep in His flock.
Yet He bears with them all, and casts none away. 

Happy is that Christian who has learned to deal likewise with his brethren. There are many in the Church, who, like Thomas, are dull and slow–but for all that, like Thomas, are real and true believers.

God washes and scours, trains and nurtures them!

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God washes and scours, trains and nurtures them!

(The Preacher’s Book)

Frankincense, when it is put into the¬†fire–gives off the greater perfume.¬†

Spice, if it is¬†pounded¬†and¬†beaten–smells the sweeter.¬†

The earth, when it is torn up with the¬†plough–becomes more fruitful.¬†

The seed in the ground, after¬†frost¬†and¬†snow¬†and¬†winter storms–grows the thicker.

The nearer the vine is¬†pruned¬†to the stock–the larger grapes it yields.

The grape, when it is most¬†pressed¬†and¬†beaten–makes the sweetest wine.

Linen, when it is¬†washed¬†and¬†wrung¬†and¬†beaten–is so made fairer and whiter.¬†

In the same way, the children of God receive great benefit by affliction–for by it¬†God washes and scours, trains and nurtures them.

“Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit!”¬†John 15:2¬†

Self-sins!

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Self-sins!

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be¬†lovers of themselves” 2 Timothy 3:1-2¬†

(A.W. Tozer)

We all have a number of self-sins:
  self-righteousness,
  self-pity,
  self-confidence,
  self-sufficiency,
  self-admiration,
  self-worth,
  self-love and 
  a host of others like them!
These self-sins are not something we¬†do, they are something we¬†are–and therein lies both their subtlety and their power. They dwell too deep within us and are too much a part of our natures, to come to our attention–until the light of God is focused upon them.¬†

The grosser manifestations of these sins–egotism, pride, arrogance, self-elevation, self-promotion–are strangely tolerated in¬†Christian leaders, even in circles of impeccable orthodoxy! They are so much in evidence as actually, for many people, to become identified with the gospel. I trust that it is not a cynical observation to say that they appear these days to be a¬†requisite for popularity¬†in some sections of the¬† visible Church.¬†

Promoting¬†self¬†under the guise of promoting¬†Christ–is currently so common as to excite little notice!¬†

“They do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely” Philippians 1:17¬†

Home, sweet home! There is no place like home!

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Home, sweet home! There is no place like home!

(James Smith, “Rills from the Rock of Ages”, 1860)

“These all died in faith . . . they confessed that they were¬†strangers¬†and¬†pilgrims¬†on the earth” Hebrews 11:13

The day of life with them is ended. Its duties are ended. Its responsibilities are past. Its hours are fled away.

What a trying day some of them had! How stormy. How sultry. How often overcast. How gloomy. But it is now past–and past forever!¬†The toils of the wilderness are over!¬†They had much to afflict and pain them . . .¬†
  a difficult and dangerous journey,
  a long wearisome march,
  many a heavy cross to carry,
  many a stubborn foe to face,
  many a painful doubt,
  numerous gloomy fears.

But now the¬†wilderness¬†is all behind them! The¬†afflictions¬†of the pilgrimage¬†are terminated. Those sufferings were sharp, and some of them continued long. Many of them were endured in secret, without sympathy and without relief. They were¬†soul¬†sorrows, agony of¬†mind–as well as sharp pains of¬†body. But however multiplied, however severe, however protracted those sorrows–they are past and gone, never, never to return!

The sweetest repose is now enjoyed. The poor¬†tabernacle¬†has been taken down, and is laid in a quiet resting-place until the resurrection morning. The¬†soul¬†is gone to be with Jesus. It has traveled through the rough path of life–and is now in God’s presence, where there is fullness of joy, and pleasures for evermore!

As Christians, we are going to the same place. The¬†graves¬†will soon be ready for our bodies–and the¬†mansions of glory¬†for our souls.¬†We are going home!¬†Home to our Father’s house! Home where our¬†hearts¬†have long been. Home where all our¬†prayers¬†will be answered, and all our best¬†desires¬†will be gratified. “Home, sweet home! There is no place like home!”¬†Especially our home!¬†Aparadise¬†without a tempting serpent! A paradise where all are holy, all are safe, all are happy. Those pure and perpetual joys, which are at God’s right hand, await us! We¬†taste¬†them now and are delighted with a¬†sip–but there we shall soon drink¬†full draughts¬†of eternal glory, eternal joy, and eternal blessedness!

Amidst present toils and trials, dangers and distresses–when wearied, way-worn, and tempted to fret–remember that you will soon be HOME! Think, think, O my soul, of an eternity of enjoyment–when the sufferings of time are ended!¬†

“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away!” Revelation 21:3-4¬†

(Please forward this uplifting post to all of your Christian friends who are going through times of affliction.)

What are you doing with your time?

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What are you doing with your time?

(J.R. Miller)

“Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of the time” Ephesians 5:15-16¬†

Our¬†days, as God gives them to us–are like beautiful summer fields.¬†
The hours are like trees with their rich fruit, or vines with their blossoms of purple clusters. 
The minutes are like blooming flowers, or stalks of wheat with their golden grains. 

Oh the endless, blessed possibilities of our¬†days¬†and¬†hours¬†and¬†minutes–as they come to us from God’s hands!¬†

But what did you do with yesterday? How does the little acre of that one day look to you now? 

What are you doing with your time?¬†Every moment God gives you, has in it a possibility of beauty or usefulness–as well as something to be accounted for.¬†

Are you using your time for God?

“Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life!” Psalm 39:4¬†

Jeremy Taylor: “God has given to man a short time here upon earth, and yet upon this short time eternity depends!”

Ryle: “No time is so well spent in every day–as that which we spend upon our knees.”

Spurgeon: “Time is short. Eternity is long. It is only reasonable that this short life be lived in the light of eternity!”

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

Better to rot in prison!

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Better to rot in prison!

(J.R. Miller, “Practical Lessons from the Story of¬†Joseph“)

“How can I do this great wickedness–and sin against God!” Genesis 39:9

“After hearing his wife’s story, Potiphar was furious! He took Joseph and threw him into the prison!” Genesis 39:19-20

Sometimes it costs very dearly to be true to God. Joseph lay now in a dungeon. But his¬†loss¬†through doing right, was nothing in comparison with what he would have lost–had he done the wickedness to which he was tempted. His prison gloom, deep as it was–was as noonday, compared with what would have been the¬†darkness of his soul¬†under the blight of evil, and the bitterness of remorse. The¬†chains¬†that hung upon him in his dungeon, were but like¬†feathers–in comparison with the¬†heavy chains¬†which would have bound his¬†soul, had he yielded to the temptation. Though in a prison, his feet hurt by the fetters–he was a free man because his¬†conscience¬†was free and his¬†heart¬†was pure!¬†

No fear of consequences should ever drive us to do a wrong thing. 

It is better to suffer any loss, any cost, any sacrifice–than be eaten up by remorse!¬†

Better be hurled down from a high place for doing right–than win worldly honor by doing wrong.¬†

Better lose our right hand–than lose our purity of soul.¬†

Better to rot in prison–than to sin against God!

It was the prayer of a young queen, which she wrote with a diamond point on her castle window,¬†“Keep me¬†pure–make others¬†great.”¬†That is the lesson of Joseph’s victory over temptation: dishonor, loss, dungeon, death–anything before sin!

Prepare to meet the monster!

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Prepare to meet the monster! 

(David Harsha) 

This young lady had been confined to a bed of severe suffering for one year. At last her soul was ripened for glory. The time came that she must die, and her death-bed was a scene of triumph. Christ was very precious to her, and His love was wonderfully manifested to her soul. She often exclaimed, “My Beloved is mine, and I am His.”¬†

The following are among her last words: 

To her distant¬†brother¬†she thus dictated a letter: “Dear brother, I know not whether I shall meet you again on earth; but I hope to meet you in Heaven, where we shall be forever singing the praises of God; where the Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne, shall feed us, and lead us unto living fountains of waters, and where God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes.”¬†

To her¬†father, who said to her, “I fear I must lose you.” She replied, “Your loss will be my gain! I have a building from God, a house, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” And again when he said, “I think you will fall asleep in Jesus;” she responded, “It will be a happy change!”¬†

She exclaimed in a transport of joy, “Oh! I would not give up Christ for all the world!”¬†

Her earthly course being nearly finished, she opened her eyes, which were soon to be closed in death, and in the language of strong, unshaken faith, exclaimed with Job, “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!”¬†

Her faith remained firm unto the end, and her hope and confidence unshaken to the last. Her sky was clear and serene, her mind calm and composed–and thus she fell asleep in Jesus and entered into the joy of her Lord.¬†

A few days before this young lady died, she requested the following lines to be read at her funeral. 

To my young companions:

“My youthful mates, both small and great,¬†
  Stand here, and you shall see, 
  An awful sight, which is a type 
  Of what you soon will be! 

“I used to appear once fresh and fair¬†
  Among the youthful crowd; 
  But now behold me dead and cold, 
  Wrapped in a sable shroud! 

“My cheeks once red, like roses spread,¬†
  My sparkling eyes so gay; 
¬† But now you see how ’tis with me,¬†
  A lifeless lump of clay! 

“When you are dressed in all your best,¬†
¬† In ‘fashion’ so complete,¬†
  You soon must be, as you see me, 
  Wrapped in a shrouding sheet! 

“Ah, youth beware, and do¬†prepare¬†
  To meet the monster
, death! 
  For he may come when you are young, 
  And steal away your breath! 

“When you unto your frolics go,¬†
  Remember what I say; 
  In short time, though in your prime, 
  You may be called away! 

“Now I am gone, I can’t return;¬†
¬† No more of me you’ll see;¬†
  But it is true that all of you, 
  Must shortly follow me! 

“When you unto my grave do go,¬†
  That gloomy place to see, 
  I say to you who stand and view, 
¬† Prepare to follow me!”

What an awful thing it is to die without salvation by Christ, without a saving interest in him; and yet millions live without God, and without hope in the world. And millions more die in the same awful condition, and plunge into a dark and miserable eternity!

“Let me die like the righteous–let my life end like theirs!” Numbers 23:10

The Christian is not a good man

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The Christian is not a good man

(Martyn Lloyd Jones)

The Christian is not a good man. 

He is a vile wretch who has been save by the grace of God!

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still¬†powerless, Christ died for the¬†ungodly.” Romans 5:6¬†

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still¬†sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8¬†

“When we were¬†God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son” Romans 5:10¬†

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save¬†sinners–of whom I am the¬†worst!” 1 Timothy 1:15¬†

A beloved child–watched over, cared for, supplied and defended!

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A beloved child–watched over, cared for, supplied and defended!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“The Lord takes pleasure in His people!” Psalm 149:4¬†

How comprehensive is the love of Jesus! There is no part of His people’s interests that He does not consider; and there is nothing that concerns their welfare, which is not important to Him. Not merely does He think of you, believer, as an¬†immortal¬†being–but as a¬†mortal¬†being, also. Do not deny it or doubt it: “The very¬†hairs¬†of your head are all numbered.” “The¬†steps¬†of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delights in His way.” Believer, rest assured that the heart of Jesus cares about your common affairs.

The breadth of His tender love is such that you may resort to Him in all matters; for as a father pities his children, so does He pity you. Oh, what a heart is His–which comprehends all the diverse and innumerable concerns of all His redeemed people!

Do you think that you can measure the love of Christ? Think of what His love has brought you–justification, adoption, sanctification and eternal life! The riches of His goodness are unsearchable–you shall never be able to¬†count¬†them out or even¬†conceive¬†of them all. Oh, the breadth of the love of Christ! You are no desolate wanderer, but¬†a beloved child–watched over, cared for, supplied and defended¬†by your Lord!

“You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle. You have recorded each one in Your book!” Psalm 56:8¬†

They are all gone!

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They are all gone! 

(Charles Spurgeon)

“If you, O Lord, should keep a record of our sins–Lord, who could stand before You?” Psalm 130:3¬†

“I–yes, I alone–will blot out your sins for My own sake, and will never remember them again!” Isaiah 43:25¬†

“You will tread our sins underfoot, and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea!” Micah 7:19¬†

All our transgressions are swept away at once, carried off as by a flood! They are so completely removed from us–that no guilty trace of them remains!¬†They are all gone!¬†

Oh, believers, think of this, for it is no little thing. 
Sins against a holy God, 
sins against His loving Son, 
sins against the Gospel–as well as against the Law,¬†
sins against man–as well as against God,¬†
sins of the body–as well as sins of the mind,¬†
sins as numerous as the sands on the seashore, and as great as the sea itself
–all, all are removed from us–as far as the east is from the west!

All this evil was rolled into one great mass and laid upon Jesus!¬†Having borne it all, He has made an end of it forever. When the Lord forgave us, He forgave us the whole debt. He did not take the bill and say, “I strike out¬†this¬†item, and¬†that¬†item”–but the pen went through it all:¬†Paid in full!¬†

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth–so great is His faithful love toward those who fear Him.
¬†As far as the east is from the west–so far has He removed our transgressions from us!” Psalm 103:11-12

“My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
 My sin, not in part but the whole,
 Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
¬†Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!”
   
Horatio Spafford

Oh! look before you, and see where it leads!

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Oh! look before you, and see where it leads!

(Samuel Davies, “Saints Saved with Difficulty; and the Certain Perdition of the Wicked”)

“Enter through the¬†narrow¬†gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But¬†small¬†is the gate and¬†narrow¬†the road that leads to life, and only a¬†few¬†find it!” Matthew 7:13-14

This, my friends, and this alone–is the way of salvation. Is this the way in which¬†you¬†are walking? Or is it the smooth, easy downward road to destruction? You may slide along that without exertion or difficulty, like a dead fish floating with the stream; but¬†oh! look before you, and see where it leads!¬†

Most people . . .
  form some easy system of religion,
  from their own vain imaginations,
  suited to their depraved taste,
  indulgent to their sloth and carnality, 
¬† and favorable to their lusts–
and this they call ‘Christianity’!¬†

But this is not the religion of the Bible! This is not the¬†way to life¬†laid out by God in His Word–but it is¬†the smooth downward road to destruction!

One of the best tests of growth in grace

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One of the best tests of growth in grace

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18

“Grow in grace”–not in¬†one¬†grace only, but in¬†all¬†the Christian graces.¬†

Grow in the starting place of grace, faith. Believe the promises more firmly than you have before. Let faith increase in fullness, constancy and simplicity. 

Grow also in love. Ask that your love may become extended, more intense, more practical, influencing every thought, word and deed. 

Grow likewise in humility. Seek to lie very low, and know more of your own nothingness.

As you grow downward in humility, seek also to grow upward–having nearer approaches to God in¬†prayer¬†and more intimate¬†fellowship with Jesus.¬†

To know Him is “life eternal”–and to advance in the knowledge of Him is to increase in happiness. Whoever has sipped this wine will thirst for more; for although Christ satisfies–yet it is such a satisfaction that the appetite is not only satisfied, but invigorated.

If you know the love of Jesus–then will you pant after deeper draughts of His love.¬†
If you do not desire to know Him better–then you do not love Him at all, for love always cries,¬†“Nearer, nearer!”¬†

Seek to know more of Him . . .
  in His divine and human natures,
  in His sin-atoning work,
  in His excruciating death for you,
  in His present glorious intercession,
  and in His future royal coming in glory! 

Remain by the cross, and search the mystery of His wounds!

An increase of love for Jesus, and a more perfect apprehension of His love for us–is¬†one of the best tests of growth in grace.

Not one grain too much!

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Not one grain too much!

(Henry Ward Beecher, 1813-1887)

“Endure suffering as discipline;¬†God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?” Hebrews 12:7¬†

Affliction comes to us all: 
¬† not to make us sad–but sober;¬†
¬†¬†not to make us sorry–but to make us wise;¬†
¬†¬†not to impoverish us–but to enrich us!

We are always in the¬†furnace–or on the¬†anvil.
By trials, God is shaping us for nobler things.

Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things!

No physician ever weighed out medicine to his patients with half so much care and exactness, as God weighs out every trial to His children. Not one grain too much, does He ever permit to be put in the scale! 

The troubles and worries of life may be as stumbling blocks in our way–or we may make them stepping-stones to a nobler character and to Heaven.¬†

“Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:10-11¬†

Its tones fall like soothing music on the quivering heart!

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Its tones fall like soothing music on the quivering heart!

(J.R. Miller)

“His disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it–and went and told Jesus.” Matthew 14:12

When one dies in our home, and our hearts are breaking–we should go and tell Jesus. It will do us good to tell Him.

We may not care to tell our trouble to any human friend. Some sorrows are too sacred to be unveiled to any eyes. 

But we need never shrink from telling Jesus. He can understand our grief, for He knows all human pain; not alone as God–but as man, for He experienced all sorrow. He will treat our sorrow, too, with most delicate gentleness.

The very words which others speak to comfort us–often fall with crude impact upon our bruised heart and give fresh pain. The gentlest touch of a human hand, often hurts where it is meant to help. But the¬†voice¬†of Jesus is so gentle that¬†its tones fall like soothing music on the quivering heart, and the¬†hand¬†of Jesus is so skillful that its touch gives healing.

We need never fear to tell Jesus of our sorrow. He is the truest Comforter, and the wisest Healer of hurt hearts.

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