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Mother, don’t you love me?


Grace logoMother, don’t you love me?

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

“I have¬†seen¬†his ways ‚ÄĒ and will¬†heal¬†him!” Isaiah 57:18

Here is one of the¬†blessedly incomprehensible paradoxes¬†of God’s love and mercy, which startles us by its excess of compassionate grace: “I have¬†seen¬†his ways, and . . .” ‚ÄĒ one would have thought that the next sentence must be, “I will¬†punish¬†him,” or at least, “I will¬†rebuke¬†him!” But, instead of wrath ‚ÄĒ here is pardon! Pity makes room for love; and in the place of bitterness, the Lord gives a blessing! “I have¬†seen¬†his ways ‚ÄĒ and will¬†heal¬†him!”

O wanderer, will not these tender words cause you to return to your Lord? 
O stony heart ‚ÄĒ will you not break at so loving a touch as this?¬†
O cold and half-dead soul ‚ÄĒ will not such a Divine cordial revive you?

“I have seen his ways.”¬†What¬†“ways” has God seen in you? Have they not been “wicked,” “crooked,” “perverse,” “your¬†own¬†ways” ‚ÄĒ “the ways of¬†death?” Have you not turned aside from the path of life, and refused to walk “in all His way,” and chosen “a stubborn way” for yourself?

Our heart must give a sad assent to all these charges. As we bow humbly before Him, and say, “You are acquainted with all my ways” ‚ÄĒ we feel that such knowledge of us on His part, intensifies our wonder and gratitude at the loving compassion with which He regards us!

When I was a little child, and had been troublesome to my mother ‚ÄĒ her reproof or punishment would often be followed by my trembling question, “Mother, don’t you love me?” And my mother’s reply invariably was, “Yes, I do love you; but I do not love your naughty ways!” Poor mother! Doubtless I tried her very much, and this was the best that¬†grieved parental love¬†could say. But our heavenly Father has sweeter, choicer words than these, for His erring children.

His love is¬†Divine, so He says, “I have¬†seen¬†his ways ‚ÄĒ and will¬†heal¬†him!” O sweet pitifulness of our God! O inexplicable tenderness! O love surpassing all earth’s loveliest affection! Do not our hard hearts yield under the power of such compassion as this?

God knows all our wickedness, He has seen all our waywardness; yet His purpose towards us is one of healing and pardon ‚ÄĒ and not of anger and estrangement.

As I learn more of God, I get so sick of my sin ‚ÄĒ indwelling-sin, heart-sin, that my soul welcomes this Word of the Lord, as a condemned prisoner embraces a pardon, or as a drowning man clutches the life-buoy thrown out for his rescue. To be healed of the disease which wastes us, to be delivered from the deadness and indifference which enchain us, to have a perfect heart with the Lord our God, and to walk before Him in a perfect way ‚ÄĒ this, I take it, is the¬†blessed prospect¬†held out by this promise. Who will claim its fulfillment at once? Who will take our gracious God at His Word, and believingly receive the¬†priceless blessing¬†which His love offers?

O blessed Lord, Your forbearance with us in the past, has been a miracle of mercy! You have seen so much in us which Your soul has abhorred ‚ÄĒ and yet You come now with this gift of healing in Your hands, which means not only pardon ‚ÄĒ but the power to be holy.

Lord, we lift up our empty, beseeching hands ‚ÄĒ to Your full ones. Our own ways have led us farther and farther from You; now let Your forgiving, healing love draw us so close to You, that we can never again be among those “who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness.”

The master-key which fits the locks!

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The master-key which fits the locks!

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

“The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but¬†because the LORD loved you!” Deuteronomy 7:7-8¬†

My gracious God, there is a honeycomb of delight and sweetness in these words! Will You put the rod of faith into my hand, this morning, and enable me to dip the end thereof into this rich provision, that my soul may eat and be satisfied, and that the eyes of my understanding may be enlightened?

“Because the Lord loved you!”¬†
This is His great “reason” for all of God’s dealings with His redeemed people. It is a full and convincing answer to all the doubts and questionings with which Satan can perplex and distress the Lord’s timid ones. The enemy of souls has, alas! a powerful confederate in the wicked unbelief which lurks within us; but they will both be vanquished when we have learned to use this weapon of war against them.

Come, my heart, try its blessed force and quality at this moment! The foe says, “Why does God send you affliction, and sorrow, and suffering ‚ÄĒ when those who do not fear His Name have continual quietness and abounding prosperity?”

If you can boldly answer,¬†“It is because the Lord loves me!”¬†then you will have given him such a¬†sword-thrust¬†as will free you, for a time, at least, from his cunning devices and fierce onslaughts.

Or, look at the text as a¬†shaft of sunlight, piercing through a chink in the shuttered window of some dark experience. Bring your fears and forebodings out of their dusky corners, and place them within the radiance of this light of love ‚ÄĒ you will be amazed to see them transformed into confident trusts ‚ÄĒ your doubts will vanish as if they had never been, and the evil and bitter things of life will all be transformed into blessings in a moment.¬†

“Because the Lord loved you!”¬†is¬†the master-key which fits the locks¬†of the hardest question, and opens the mysteries of the deepest problem! It is a¬†charm¬†of wondrous efficacy, and every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ may not only rejoice in its possession ‚ÄĒ but use it constantly to obtain all the desire of his heart in spiritual things.

What ails you, poor soul?
¬†Is it loss of health, or friends, or means? Has God taken from you some dearly-loved one, and left you alone on this sad earth? Is He trying and proving you, by many and varied tests and troubles, “to know what was in your heart”? Whatever may be your immediate and peculiar sorrow, if you have grace and faith enough to say,¬†“This is because the Lord loves me!”¬†‚ÄĒ then I dare to promise you that all the bitterness of the affliction will melt away ‚ÄĒ and the¬†peace of God¬†will fill you with a sweet contentment which surpasses understanding. No distress can withstand such Divine solace, no anguish can refuse the relief of this¬†balm of Gilead. If all that happens to you can be traced directly or indirectly to the hand of your loving Lord ‚ÄĒ then how gladly should you bear life’s burdens, and how perfect should be the rest in which heart and mind should dwell!

O gracious Master, looking back over the years that are gone ‚ÄĒ the interminglings of grief and gladness, pass before my eyes as the clouds sail by on an April day. And though the memories of¬†great affliction¬†and¬†sore bereavement¬†cast deep shadows across the scene, and seem for a time to blot out all the brightness ‚ÄĒ yet, above and beyond those changeful skies ‚ÄĒ the sun has never ceased shining, and darkness as well as day has proclaimed the¬†immutability of Your love. When the ears of my soul are attuned to catch the soft whisper of Your voice, I hear You saying: “All this, My child, was because I loved you! Left to yourself; you would have destroyed yourself; but in Me was your help found. All the¬†tribulations¬†you have endured, were but¬†My servants¬†to whom I entrusted the necessary discipline of your earthly life. Do not forget those words of Mine:¬†As many as I love ‚ÄĒ I rebuke and chasten!”

What a compassionate, gracious arrangement!

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What a compassionate, gracious arrangement!

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

“My times are in Your hand!”¬†Psalm 31:15¬†

Why then, need I worry or tremble? That great, loving, powerful¬†hand¬†keeps all the events of my life sealed and secure within its almighty clasp! And only He, my Maker and my Master, can permit them to be revealed to me as His will for me.¬†What a compassionate, gracious arrangement!¬†How eminently fitted to fulfill that sweet promise of His Word, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You!” If we fully believed this, we would be absolutely devoid of the¬†worry¬†which corrodes and chafes the daily life of so many professing Christians.

“My times.” Not one or two¬†important¬†epochs of my history only ‚ÄĒ but¬†everything¬†that concerns me:
  joys that I had not expected,
  sorrows that must have crushed me, if they could have been anticipated, 
  sufferings which might have terrified me by their grimness, had I looked upon them,
  surprises which infinite love had prepared for me,
  services of which I could not have imagined myself capable
¬†‚ÄĒ all these lay in that mighty hand ‚ÄĒ as the purposes of God’s eternal will for me.¬†

But, as they have developed gradually and silently ‚ÄĒ how great has been the¬†love¬†which appeared enwrapping and enfolding each one!¬†
Has not the grief been measured ‚ÄĒ while the gladness has far more abounded?¬†
Have not the comforts and consolations ‚ÄĒ exceeded the crosses and afflictions?¬†
Have not all things been so arranged, and ordered, and undertaken, and worked out on our behalf ‚ÄĒ that we can but marvel at the goodness and wisdom of God, in meting out from that dear¬†hand¬†of His, all the “times” that have passed over us?

You agree with me in all this, do you not, dear reader? Then, I beg you, apply it to your present circumstances, however dark or difficult they may be. They have come directly from your Father’s hand to you, and they are His dear will for you!

Soul-Comfort

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Soul-Comfort

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

“When my anxious thoughts multiply within me ‚ÄĒ Your comforts delight my soul.” Psalm 94:19¬†

“Your comforts delight my soul!” Blessed Lord, how sweet is this text in my mouth! The taste of it is “like wafers made with honey.” It is both food and drink to my heart, for every word has joy and refreshing in it; so that, like the “best wine” of the Canticles, it “goes down sweetly.”¬†

The first of Your comforts, gracious God, is this ‚ÄĒ that You have said unto my soul, “I am your salvation!” He¬†saves¬†us, not because of any merit in us, or any deservings of our own; but because sovereign grace¬†chose¬†us, and Divine compassion¬†redeemed¬†us. And when we were afar off, infinite pity brought us back, and made us near by the precious blood of Christ. This may well comfort our hearts ‚ÄĒ coming as it does directly from “our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and our God and Father, who has loved us and given us eternal comfort and good hope by grace!” A saved and pardoned sinner can truly say,¬†“Your comforts delight my soul!”

The next thought is that, having¬†saved¬†us ‚ÄĒ He¬†keeps¬†us. “We are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation.” Comparatively few Christians put¬†God’s keeping power¬†fully to the test. If we would trust Him for the¬†keeping, as we do for the¬†saving¬†‚ÄĒ our lives would be far holier and happier than they are. “I will keep it every moment,” is one of those grandly unlimited promises which most of us are afraid of; and we store them away in the background because we dare not believe them, and bring them out into the light of our¬†daily practice.¬†O foolish and unbelieving hearts, how much of soul-delighting comfort do we thus miss!

Then comes another thought ‚ÄĒ He¬†cares¬†for us. Dear friends, if you are His, you know the exceeding comfort of¬†casting all your care upon Him¬†‚ÄĒ and being quite sure that He will “undertake” for you. Have we not often come to Him oppressed and burdened with an¬†intolerable weight of anxiety and distress¬†‚ÄĒ and been enabled to roll the whole mass of it on Him, leaving it all at His feet, and returning to our work with a lightened and restful heart? Some of us have had burdens and sorrows, which would have crushed the very life out of us ‚ÄĒ if we had not been enabled to look up and say, “You, O Lord, have helped and comforted me!” Yes, truly, God’s care for us is one of the sweetest comforts of our mortal life!

Closely linked with this, is the thought that He¬†knows¬†all about us. Our enemies ‚ÄĒ sometimes, even our friends ‚ÄĒ misunderstand and malign us; they misconstrue our words and actions, and impute to us motives which never actuated us. But our God knows the¬†thoughts¬†and¬†intents¬†of our heart, and never makes a mistake in the judgment He passes on us. The comfort of this knowledge on the Lord’s part, to those who are “suffering wrongfully,” is inexpressibly precious. They can lift up their heads with joy, and say, “The Lord is good. He knows those who trust in Him.” I have known this comfort to so delight my soul, that trials and temptations had no power to vex or annoy it, for my soul was hidden “secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.”

Lastly (though there are many, many more), one of the multitude of thoughts which stand out prominently from the rest, as a comfort which delights the soul ‚ÄĒ is that He¬†loves¬†us. This truth has been running through the fields of previous thought, as a silver streamlet glides through the meadows ‚ÄĒ here, it would deepen and expand to a broad and fathomless ocean, had I the power to speak of its height, and depth, and length, and breadth, and to tell of the love of Christ, which surpasses knowledge! But my pen utterly fails here. You who love Him, and know that He loves you ‚ÄĒ must each one say to himself what that “comfort of His love” is to your own heart. This will be a better commentary than any I can offer.¬†

And, if some poor distressed soul is mourning the loss of the sweet consolation which Christ’s love alone can give ‚ÄĒ let him call to remembrance a tenderly precious promise which the Lord put into the lips of the prophet Isaiah, “I have seen his ways ‚ÄĒ but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him!” Isaiah 57:18¬†

Our thorn!

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Our thorn!

(J. R. Miller, “The Blossoming of Our Thorns” 1905)

“To keep me from getting puffed up, I was¬†given¬†a¬†thorn¬†in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from getting proud.” 2 Corinthians 12:7

We do not know how much of Paul’s rich, beautiful life, and his noble work for his Master ‚ÄĒ he owed to¬†his thorn. Just so, we do not know how much we are indebted to our¬†sufferings¬†and¬†sorrows. Our richest lessons ‚ÄĒ are the fruit of pain, of weakness, of sorrow.

There is not one of us who has not his own thorn. With one it may be a bodily infirmity or weakness. With another it is some disfigurement which cannot be removed. It may be some difficulty in circumstances, something which makes it hard to live beautifully. 

The Master told Paul that his thorn was¬†necessary¬†to him ‚ÄĒ to save him from becoming proud. We may think of¬†our thorn, too ‚ÄĒ as something we¬†need. Instead of allowing it to irritate us or to spoil our life ‚ÄĒ its mission is to make us sweet, patient, loving. Many people beseech the Lord to take away their thorn. Yet it may be, that the prayer¬†is¬†not answered,¬†will¬†not be answered,¬†should¬†not be answered. It may be, that the thorn is¬†necessary¬†to keep them humble at God’s feet.

God sends some of our best blessings to us in our thorns, and it will be a sad thing if we thrust them away and miss them.

The time has come for my departure!

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The time has come for my departure!

(James Smith, “The Better Land”)

The time has come for my departure!¬†I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day!” 2 Timothy 4:6-8¬†

Aged believer, the time of your departure will soon come! Do not let your mind be troubled as to . . .
  where you shall die,
  when you shall die,
  or how you shall die!
These are all minor matters ‚ÄĒ and ought not to affect you.¬†

Simply look at¬†death¬†as Jesus did: “Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world ‚ÄĒ and¬†go to His Father!”¬†John 13:1¬†

Why should you regret to leave a poor world like this ‚ÄĒ where sin, sorrow, pain, grief, disappointment, and anxiety meet you at every turn? Why should you be reluctant to go HOME ‚ÄĒ to go to your Father?¬†
Do you not want to see His face? 
Do you not want to enjoy His company? 
Do you not want to be perfectly happy in His presence?

I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far!” Philippians 1:23¬†

He will sustain you!

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He will sustain you!

(J.R. Miller)

“Cast your burden upon the Lord ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ but that He will¬†sustain¬†us so that¬†we¬†may carry it.
He does not¬†free¬†us from the duty ‚ÄĒ but He¬†strengthens¬†us for it.
He does not¬†deliver¬†us from the conflict ‚ÄĒ but He enables us to¬†overcome.¬†
He does not withhold or withdraw the trial from us ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ 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


The fruits and effects He produces

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The fruits and effects He produces

(J.C. Ryle, “The Holy Spirit“)

“When He comes, He will convict the world about¬†sin, righteousness, and judgment.” (John 16:8)

Where the Holy Spirit is, there will always be deep conviction of sin ‚ÄĒ and true repentance for it. It is His special office to convict of sin.¬†

He shows the exceeding holiness of God. 

He teaches the exceeding corruption and infirmity of our nature. 

He strips us of our blind self-righteousness. 

He opens our eyes to our awful guilt, folly and danger. 

He fills the heart with sorrow, contrition, and abhorrence for sin ‚ÄĒ as the abominable thing which God hates.¬†

He who knows nothing of all this, and saunters carelessly through life, thoughtless about sin, and indifferent and unconcerned about his soul ‚ÄĒ is a dead man before God! He has not the Holy Spirit.¬†

The presence of the Holy Spirit in a man’s heart can only be known by¬†the fruits and effects He produces. Mysterious and invisible to mortal eye as His operations are ‚ÄĒ they always lead to certain visible and tangible results.

Just as you know there is life in a tree by its sap, buds, leaves and fruits ‚ÄĒ just so you may know the Spirit to be in a man’s heart by the influence He exercises over his thoughts, affections, opinions, habits, and life. I lay this down broadly and unhesitatingly. I see it clearly marked out in our Lord Jesus Christ’s words, “Every tree is known by his own fruit.” Luke 6:44


Desiring God!

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Desiring God!

(Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”)

“Whom have I in Heaven but You?¬†And earth has nothing I¬†desire¬†besides You!”¬†Psalm 73:25¬†

We may know the kingdom of grace is set up in our hearts ‚ÄĒ by having¬†true desires after God.¬†By the beating of this¬†pulse¬†‚ÄĒ we conclude there is¬†life.¬†

A true desire after God is¬†sincere. We desire God for Himself, for His intrinsic excellencies. The savor of the ointment of¬†Christ’s gracesdraws the virgins’ desires after Him. Canticles 1:3. A true saint desires Him not only for what God¬†has¬†‚ÄĒ but for what He¬†is; not only for His¬†rewards¬†‚ÄĒ but for His¬†holiness.¬†No hypocrite can thus desire God. He may desire God for His¬†jewels¬†‚ÄĒ but not for His¬†beauty!

A true desire after God is¬†insatiable. It cannot be satisfied without God; let the world heap her honors and riches ‚ÄĒ they will not satisfy. No¬†flowers¬†or¬†music¬†will content him who is¬†thirsty. Just so,¬†nothing will quench the soul’s thirst ‚ÄĒ but the blood of Christ!¬†He faints away, his heart breaks with longing for God. Psalm 84:2; Psalm 119:20

A true desire after God is¬†active. It flourishes into¬†endeavor. “With my soul have I desired you in the night ‚ÄĒ yes, with my spirit within me will I seek You early.” Isaiah 26:9. A soul that desires aright says, “I must have¬†Christ!¬†I must have¬†grace!¬†I must have¬†Heaven, though I take it by storm!”

A true desire after God is¬†supreme. We desire Christ, not only more than the¬†world¬†‚ÄĒ but more than¬†Heaven!¬†“Whom have I in Heaven but You?” Psalm 73:25. Heaven itself would not satisfy ‚ÄĒ without Christ. Christ is¬†the diamond in the ring of glory!¬†

A true desire after God is¬†increasing. A¬†little¬†of God will not satisfy ‚ÄĒ but the pious soul desires still more. A¬†drop¬†of water is not enough for the thirsty traveler. Though a Christian is¬†thankful¬†for the least degree of grace ‚ÄĒ yet he is not¬†satisfied¬†with the greatest degree of grace. He still thirsts for more of Christ, and His Spirit. A saint would have more knowledge, more sanctity, more of Christ’s presence. A¬†glimpse¬†of Christ through the lattice of an ordinance is sweet; but the soul will never stop longing ‚ÄĒ until it sees Him face to face! It desires to have¬†grace¬†perfected in¬†glory!¬†It desires to be wholly plunged into the sweetness of God. We would be swallowed up in God, and be forever bathing ourselves in those perfumed waters of pleasure which run at His right hand!

Surely this sincere desire after God is a blessed sign that the kingdom of grace has come into our hearts. The beating of this pulse shows life! Desires¬†for¬†God ‚ÄĒ are¬†from¬†God. If iron moves upwards contrary to its nature ‚ÄĒ it is a sign some magnet has been drawing it. Just so, if the soul moves towards God in sincere desires ‚ÄĒ it is a sign the¬†magnet of the Spirit¬†has been drawing it!

“He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him.”¬†Psalm 145:19


Father knows best!

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Father knows best!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away ‚ÄĒ may the name of the LORD be praised!” Job 1:21

“Shall we accept good from God ‚ÄĒ and not trouble?” Job 2:10¬†
 

Let the Lord do as He wills to us! He will never be unkind to us! He has always been our friend ‚ÄĒ He will never be our foe!¬†

He will never put us into the¬†furnace¬†‚ÄĒ unless He means to purge the¬†dross¬†out of us. Nor will there be one degree more heat in that furnace than is absolutely necessary ‚ÄĒ there will always be¬†mercy¬†to balance the¬†misery¬†‚ÄĒ and strength supplied to support the burden to be borne.
 

Oh, children of God, your¬†Father knows best!¬†Leave everything in His hands and be at peace ‚ÄĒ for all is well.
 

“I was silent; I would not open my mouth ‚ÄĒ for You are the one who has done this!” Psalm 39:9¬†
 

“He is the LORD; let him do what is good in His eyes!” 1 Samuel 3:18¬†

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,¬†and there are no grapes on the vines;¬†even though the olive crop fails,¬†and the fields lie empty and barren;¬†even though the flocks die in the fields,¬†and the cattle barns are empty¬†‚ÄĒ yet I will rejoice in the¬†LORD!¬†I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!” Habakkuk 3:17-18¬†

This city was a moral cesspool, a sink of pollution, filled with all corruption, and reeking with vileness!

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This city was a moral cesspool, a sink of pollution, filled with all corruption, and reeking with vileness!

(Charles Naylor, “In Christ, and in Ephesus” 1920)

To the¬†saints¬†in Ephesus ‚ÄĒ the¬†faithful¬†in Christ Jesus”¬†Ephesians 1:1¬†

Ephesus was one of the great centers of paganism. It was adorned with costly and magnificent heathen temples. It was rich and voluptuous. Both private and public life were utterly corrupt. Even the religious practices of the Ephesians were unspeakably vile.¬†This city was a moral cesspool, a sink of pollution, filled with all corruption, and reeking with vileness!¬†It was a second Sodom. Vice stalked abroad everywhere ‚ÄĒ and was honored and worshiped.

We might therefore well say, “Can any good thing come out of Ephesus? Can Christianity flourish in such surroundings?”¬†

Yes! There were¬†saints¬†in Ephesus ‚ÄĒ and¬†faithful¬†ones, too. They were such in their lives and characters as to win the commendation of that great apostle to the Gentiles. Out of that obnoxious cesspool of iniquity, were growing the pure white lilies of Christian character! That is the glory of Christianity and of Christ. Those who were now Christians were not superior to the other Ephesians ‚ÄĒ they were not by nature different. In fact, Paul tells them that they had been the children of wrath, even as the others ‚ÄĒ and that they had been such by nature. What a triumph of divine grace, which raised these people up out of such unspeakable filth ‚ÄĒ and made them¬†faithful saints!¬†And yet that is the power of our great Christ!

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” Ephesians 5:8


This is too much!

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This is too much!

(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

Only to be permitted to contemplate such a being as Jehovah . . .
¬† to ponder goodness, holiness, justice, mercy, patience and sovereignty ‚ÄĒ personified and condensed;
  to ponder them united with eternity, infinite power, unerring wisdom, omnipresence, and all sufficiency;
¬† to ponder all these natural and moral perfections indissolubly united and blended in sweet harmony ‚ÄĒ in one pure, spiritual being, and that being placed on the throne of the universe
¬†‚ÄĒ to ponder this would be happiness enough to fill the mind of any creature in existence!¬†

But in addition to this, 
  to have this ineffable Being for my God, my portion, my all; 
¬† to be permitted to say, “This God is¬†my¬†God forever and ever!”¬†
  to have His resplendent countenance smile upon me;
  to be encircled in His everlasting arms of power and faithfulness and love;
¬† to hear His voice saying to¬†me, “I am yours ‚ÄĒ and you are Mine! Nothing shall ever pluck you from My hands, or separate you from My love ‚ÄĒ but you shall be with Me where I am, behold My glory, and live to reign with Me forever and ever!”¬†

This is too much!¬†It is honor, it is glory ‚ÄĒ it is happiness too overwhelming, too transporting for mortal minds to conceive, or for mortal frames to support!

Who are you, O man, to talk back to God?

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Who are you, O man, to talk back to God?

(Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity“)

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I
 will have compassion on whom I have compassion.
¬†It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or
¬†effort, but on God’s mercy.” Romans 9:15-16

God has a sovereign right and authority over man. 
He can do with His creatures as He pleases. Who shall 
dispute with God? Who shall ask Him a reason of His 
doings? “Who are you, O man, to talk back to¬†
God?
 Shall what is formed say to him who formed 
it‚ÄĒWhy did you make me like this?” Romans 9:20

“Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases.”
 Psalm 115:3 

“The Lord does whatever He pleases in heaven and
¬†on earth, in the seas and all the depths.” Psalm 135:6

God sits as judge in the highest court, and is not bound 
to give a reason for His proceedings. “He puts down one,¬†
and raises up another.” He has¬†salvation¬†and¬†damnation¬†
in His power. He has the key of justice in His hand, to 
lock up whomever he will, in the fiery prison of hell! And 
He has the¬†key of mercy¬†in His hand, to open heaven’s¬†
gate to whomever He pleases! The name engraved upon 
His vesture is, “King of kings, and Lord of lords!” He sits¬†
Lord paramount, and who can call Him to account? The 
world is¬†God’s house, and shall not He do what He
desires in His own house? 

“My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please!”
     Isaiah 46:10

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

A sleeping lion

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A sleeping lion

(Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity“)

“Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why¬†
do the treacherous live at ease?” Jeremiah 12:1

Such as are highest in sin‚ÄĒare often highest in¬†
prosperity. This has led many to question God’s¬†
justice. Diogenes, seeing a thief live on affluently, 
said, “Surely God has cast off the government of¬†
the world, and does not care how things go on 
here below.”

How can it be consistent with¬†God’s justice,¬†
that the wicked should prosper in the world?

If God lets men prosper a while in their sin‚ÄĒHis¬†
vial of wrath is all this while filling; His sword is 
all this time sharpening. Though God may forbear 
with men a while‚ÄĒyet long forbearance is not
forgiveness. The longer God is in taking His blow, 
the heavier it will be at last! As long as there is 
eternity, God has time enough to reckon with 
His enemies!

God’s justice may be as¬†a sleeping lion‚ÄĒbut the¬†
lion will awake at last, and roar upon the sinner!

“Yes, Lord God Almighty, Your punishments are
¬†true and just.” Revelation 16:7

Sacrilege!

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Sacrilege! 
(by Octavius Winslow) 

Cultivate a profound reverence for God’s Word. Nothing is more grievous to the Holy Spirit than a trifling with revelation. The words of Scripture are divinely inspired. “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”¬†

Beware of referring to it with levity. To adopt the words of Scripture irreverently, or to employ its phraseology flippantly, is to cast discredit upon inspiration, to press it into the service of the flesh, and to make the Word of God the jest book of the profane. This is awful trifling with the thoughts and words of the Holy Spirit! 

Stand in awe of this Holy Book! 

God says, “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at My Word.” Isaiah 66:2¬†

“Then all who trembled at the Words of the God of Israel…” Ezra 9:4¬†

“We will follow the advice given by you and by the others who respect the commands of our God…” Ezra 10:3¬†

“My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of Your laws.”¬†¬† Psalm 119:120¬†

“My heart stands in awe of Your Word.” Psalm 119:161¬†

(Editor’s note: How very sad is it that many professing Christians use the holy Word of God to amuse others with ‘bible jokes’ and in other trifling and irreverent ways. Much of today’s pseudo Christian music, movies and children’s literature use the Word of God in a flippant manner, if not in a downright profane and sacrilegious way.)¬†
  

The Preciousness of God’s Children

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The Preciousness of God’s Children¬†
(“The Preciousness of God’s Children” Octavius Winslow)¬†

Oh, how precious to Jesus is 
  your tear of godly sorrow; 
  your touch of trembling faith; 
  your look of lowly love; 
  your offering of sincere gratitude; 
  your yearning and longing of holy desire! 

So precious to Jesus are you, that 
  His ear is attentive to your faintest cry; 
  His thoughts are never withdrawn from you for a moment; 
  His hand is ever extended to support you. 

You are so precious to Jesus that 
  He sits at the fountain of grace to supply all your need; 
  He bows His shoulder to your heaviest burden; 
  He unveils His heart to your deepest sorrow. 

O believer, do not live without a deep, constant 
realization of your preciousness to Jesus; and 
the depth, tenderness, and constancy of the 
love He bears towards you.  Let your faith grasp 
it, amid the varied phases and changes of your 
Christian course, and it will be as a sweet flowing 
stream gliding and sparkling by your side all 
through the sandy desert, imparting swiftness 
to your feet in travel, strength to your hand in 
labor, nerve to your arm in battle; soothing, 
reviving, and refreshing your spirit when sad, 
faint, and drooping by the way. 

Be assured of your personal place in His 
affections, and your home and sanctuary in 
His heart, and no act of obedience, of love, 
or of service on your part, will be too costly. 

Your love to Him will be the reflection of His 
love to you, proportioned in its degree and 
intensity to the vividness with which His love 
is seen and realized. 

Reader, let your eye see His beauty! 

Bow your heart before His cross! 

Fall at His feet! 

Crown Him Lord and Sovereign of your soul! 

True comfort!

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True  comfort! 
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon, “Concerning the Consolations of God” Job 15:11.¬†

Christian, are you hoping to find true comfort in the world? Will you be happy if you manage to get that position? if you pass that examination? if you save so much money? I beseech you, do not play the fool; there is no consolation in all this. 

There is no satisfaction to be found in the greatest worldly success; millionaires, statesmen, and princes all dissatisfied. The richest men have often been the most miserable, and those who have succeeded best in rising to places of honor have been worn out in the pursuit, and disgusted with the prize. 

Wealth brings care, honor earns envy, position entails toil, and rank has its annoyances. 

One of our richest men once said, “I suppose you imagine I am happy, because I am rich. Why, a dozen times in a year, and oftener, some fellow threatens to shoot me if I do not give him what he wants. Do you suppose that this makes me a happy man?”¬†

Believe me, the world is as barren of joy as the Sahara. 

Vain is the hope of finding a spring of consolation in anything beneath the moon. 

Seek the kingdom of God, and his righteousness. 
  

The religion of JOY

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The religion of JOY 
(Octavius Winslow, “The Sympathy of Christ”)¬†
The religion of Christ is the religion of JOY. Christ came to take away our sins, to roll off our curse, to unbind our chains, to open our prison house, to cancel our debt; in a word, to give us the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Is  not this joy? Where can we find a joy so real, so deep, so pure, so lasting? There is every element of joy; deep, ecstatic, satisfying, sanctifying joy in the gospel of Christ. The believer in Jesus is essentially a happy man. The child of God is, from necessity, a joyful man. His sins are forgiven, his soul is justified, his person is adopted, his trials are blessings, his conflicts are victories, his death is immortality, his future is a heaven of inconceivable, unthought of, untold, and endless blessedness. With such a God, such a Savior, and such a hope, is he not, ought he not, to be a joyful man? 
  

“Little children, abide in him.”

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Little children, abide in him.”¬†
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon, “Preparation¬†
¬†for the Coming of the Lord.” #2105. 1 John 2:28.¬†

Just as little children are in daily dependence 
on their parents, Christians depend upon the 
Lord’s care.¬†

Why, beloved, the Lord has to nurse you! He 
feeds you with the unadulterated milk of the 
Word; he comforts you as a mother does her 
child; he carries you in his bosom, he bears 
you all your days. 

Your new life is as yet weak and struggling; 
do not carry it into the cold atmosphere of 
distance from Jesus. 

Little children, since you derive all from Jesus, 
abide in him. To go elsewhere will be to wander 
into a howling wilderness. The world is empty; 
only Christ has fullness. Away from Jesus you 
will be as a child deserted by its mother, left 
to pine, and starve, and die; or as a little lamb 
on the hillside without a shepherd, tracked by 
the wolf, whose teeth will soon extract its 
heart’s blood.¬†

Abide, O child, with your mother! 

Abide, O lamb, with your shepherd! 

Cling to the Lord Jesus in your feebleness, 
in your fickleness, in your nothingness; and 
abidingly take him to be everything to you. 

Spiritual Joy!

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Spiritual  Joy! 
 (by Octavius Winslow) 

Spiritual joy is a holy, sensitive plant. 
It shrinks from the rude, ungentle touch; 
from every influence uncongenial with its 
heaven born nature. Watch it with sleepless 
vigilance; shield it with every hallowed defense. 

There are many hostile influences to which 
it is exposed, any one of which will seriously 
injure it. Temptation courted, sin tampered 
with, worldliness indulged, the creature 
idolized, means of grace slighted, Christ 
undervalued. 

Any one of these things will dampen your joy, 
and cause it to shrink, and compel it to retire. 

But nothing will sooner or more effectually 
do this than looking away from the Object 
and Source of joy, the Lord Jesus Christ. 

There is everything in Christ to make you a 
joyful Christian. There is all redundance of 
grace to subdue your corruptions, an 
overflowing sympathy to soothe your sorrows, 
a sovereign efficacy in His blood to cleanse 
your guilt, infinite resources to meet all your 
needs, His ever encircling presence around 
your path, His ceaseless intercession on your 
behalf in heaven. His loving attention of all 
you feel, and fear, and need. 

  Oh, is this not enough to make your heart a 
constant sunshine, and your life a pleasant psalm? 

Fly to the Word of God!

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Fly to the Word of God! 
(from “The Preciousness of God’s Word” by Octavius Winslow)¬†

As a system of ‘consolation’ Christianity has no equal. No other religion in the wide world touches the hidden springs of the soul, or reaches the lowest depths of human sorrow, but the religion of Christ.¬†

When your hearts have been overwhelmed, when adversity has wrapped you within its gloomy pall, when the broken billows of grief have swollen and surged around your soul, how have you fled to the Scriptures of truth for succor and support, for guidance and comfort! Nor have you repaired to them in vain. “The God of all comfort” is He who speaks in this Word, and there is no word of comfort like that which He speaks.¬†

The adaptation of His truth to the varied, the peculiar and personal trials and sorrows of His Church, is one of the strongest proofs of its divinity. Take to the Word of God whatever sorrow you may, go with whatever mental beclouding, with whatever spirit sadness, with whatever heart grief; whatever be its character, its complexion, its depth unsurpassed in the history of human sorrow, there is consolation and support in the Word of God for your 
mind. 

God will not leave you in trouble, but will sustain you in it, will bring you out of, and sanctify you by it, to the endless glory and praise of His great and precious name! 

Christian mourner, let me once more direct your eye too dimmed perhaps by tears to behold this divine source of true, unfailing comfort. God’s Word is the book of the afflicted. Written to unfold the wondrous history of the “Man of Sorrows,” it would seem to have been equally written for you, 0 child of grief! God speaks to your sad and sorrowing heart from every page of this sacred volume, with words of comfort, loving, gentle, and persuasive as a mother’s. “As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you.”¬†

The Bible is the opening of the heart of God. It is God’s heart unveiled, each throb inviting the mourner, the poor in spirit, the widow, the fatherless, the bereaved, the persecuted, the sufferer, yes, every child of affliction and grief to the asylum and sympathy, the protection and soothing of His heart. Oh, thank God for the comfort and consolation of the Scripture! Open it with what sorrow and burden and perplexity you may, be it the guilt of sin, the pressure of trial, or the corrodings of sorrow, it speaks to the heart such words of comfort as God only could speak.¬†

Have you ever borne your grief to God’s Word, especially to the experimental Psalms of David, and not felt that it was written for that particular sorrow? You have found your grief more accurately portrayed, your state of mind more truly described, and your case more exactly and fully met, probably in a single history, chapter, or verse, than in all the human treatises that the pen of man ever wrote.¬†

Fly to the Word of God, then, in every sorrow! You will know more of the mind and heart of God than you, perhaps, ever learned in all the schools before. Draw, then, O child of sorrow, your consolation from God’s Word. Oh, clasp this precious Word of comfort to your sorrowful heart, and exclaim, “It is mine! The Jesus of whom it speaks is mine, the salvation it reveals is mine, the promises it contains are mine, the heaven it unveils is mine, and all the consolation, comfort, and sympathy which wells up from these hidden springs, is MINE.”¬†
  

He was infinitely happy and glorious without us!

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He was infinitely happy and glorious without us! 

(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Evening Visit”)

“Christ, who loved us!”¬†Romans 8:37

No condition can possibly be more dreary‚ÄĒthan to feel that no one¬†loves¬†or¬†cares¬†for us!

There is something peculiarly sweet and pleasant‚ÄĒin being the¬†object of another’s love. Even the love of a¬†poor child¬†is sweet. But to be loved by one who is most wealthy, most exalted in station, and most honorable in character‚ÄĒmust be peculiarly delightful!

How, then, should we rejoice; how happy should we be‚ÄĒwho are¬†loved by the Lord Jesus!¬†Especially when we consider:¬†
on the one hand:
  how despicable,
  how poor,
  how worthless, and
  how unlovely WE are! 
And, on the other hand:
  how glorious,
  how wealthy,
  how worthy,
  how lovely JESUS is! 

To be¬†loved by Jesus‚ÄĒis to be preferred before the possession of a world!

Think of . . .
  the glory of His person,
  the vastness of His possessions,
  the number of His angelic attendants,
  the unlimited sovereignty which He exercises, 
  and the excellent character He bears!

Also bear in mind‚ÄĒthat¬†He knew what loving us would¬†cost¬†Him‚ÄĒhow He would be treated by us and by others‚ÄĒfor our sakes!¬†

Yet He fixed His love upon US! 

He loved US‚ÄĒjust because He would!

He passed by¬†others¬†more dignified in nature, more exalted in station‚ÄĒbut He chose US!

He did not, could not, NEED us‚ÄĒfor¬†He was infinitely happy and glorious without us!¬†

Yet He loved us! 

He still loves us!

My Father’s eye!

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My Father’s eye!

(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Evening Visit”)

“Your Father‚ÄĒwho¬†sees¬†in secret.” Matthew 6:6

Can anyone hide himself from the Lord in secret places? 

Can I, under any circumstances, escape His notice? 

Impossible! 

The¬†eye of God¬†has been fixed upon me every second of this day; it is now at this moment fixed fully upon me. But it is¬†my Father’s eye!¬†My Father sees in secret!¬†

He sees my¬†needs‚ÄĒand my¬†woes.¬†

He sees every secret working of my foes‚ÄĒand will save me from them.¬†
He sees every secret influence which is likely to injure me‚ÄĒand will prevent it.¬†

He sees . . .
  the secret workings of my heart,
  my hidden thoughts,
  my unuttered desires,
  my soul conflicts,
  my private temptations. 

But He sees also my secret sins!
Every evil thought, 
every improper action, 
every unfitting¬†word‚ÄĒ
passes under His eye!

Solemn consideration this!

May it make me cautious. May it preserve me. . . 
  from yielding to temptation,
  from nourishing sinful thoughts, and
  from acting inconsistent with my profession. 

My heavenly Father sees me! 

He sees me at this moment!

He sees me every moment!

He sees my most secret motives, thoughts, and purposes!

He who thus sees me‚ÄĒhates every sin with an infinite hatred!


If you meet that poor wretch who thrust his spear into My side!

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If you meet that poor wretch who thrust his spear into My side!

(Benjamin Grosvenor, “The Temper of Jesus Christ towards His Enemies, and His Grace to the Chief of Sinners”)

“Repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in His name to all nations,¬†beginning at Jerusalem.”¬†Luke 24:47

It is very affecting that the¬†first offers of grace¬†should be made to those who, of all people in the world‚ÄĒhad done it the most harm! One would rather have expected the apostles should have received another kind of charge, and that Christ¬†should¬†have said, “Let repentance and forgiveness of sins be preached‚ÄĒbut do NOT carry it to Jerusalem, that wicked city, that has been the slaughter-house of my prophets, whom I have often sent. Last of all, I myself, the Son, came‚ÄĒand with wicked hands, they have crucified and murdered Me! They may do the same to you! Do¬†not¬†let the gospel enter those wicked gates, through which they led Me, its Author, to crucifixion!”

But Christ singles out exactly these‚ÄĒto make¬†monuments of His mercy, and commands the first offer of eternal life to be made to them! As if our Lord had said: “Lest the poor house of Israel should think themselves abandoned to eternal despair‚ÄĒas cruel and vile as they have been‚ÄĒgo, make the first offer of grace to them! Let those who spilled My blood‚ÄĒbe welcome to its healing virtue. Tell them that there is repentance and forgiveness,¬†even for them!”
“Nay,¬†if you meet that poor wretch who thrust his spear into My side, tell him that there is another way, a better way of coming to My heart‚ÄĒeven My heart’s love! Tell him, that if he will repent, and look upon Me whom he has pierced, and will mourn‚ÄĒthen I will cherish him in that very bosom which he has wounded! Tell him that he shall find the blood which he has shed‚ÄĒto be an ample atonement for the sin of shedding it! And tell him from Me, that he will put Me to more pain and displeasure by refusing this offer of My blood‚ÄĒthan when he first drew it forth!”

For I have not come to call the righteous, but¬†sinners¬†to repentance!” Matthew 9:13

Why Christ offends men

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Why Christ offends men
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“Unbelievers stumbling; Believers rejoicing”

There are some who stumble at Christ because of his holiness.

He is too strict for them; they would like to be Christians,
but they cannot renounce their sensual pleasures; they
would like to be washed in his blood, but they desire still
to roll in the mire of sin.

Willing enough the mass of men would be to receive Christ,
if, after receiving him, they might continue in their drunkenness,
their wantonness, and self-indulgence. But Christ lays the axe
at the root of the tree; he tells them that these things must be
given up, for “because of these things the wrath of God comes
upon the children of disobedience,‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúwithout holiness no
man can see the Lord.‚ÄĚ

Human nature kicks at this.

“What! May I not enjoy one darling lust? May I not indulge
myself at least now and then in these things? Must I altogether
forsake my old habits and my old ways? Must I be made a
new creature in Christ Jesus?‚ÄĚ

These are terms too hard, conditions too severe, and so the
human heart goes back to the flesh pots of Egypt, and clings
to the garlic and the onions of the old estate of bondage, and
will not be set free even though a greater than Moses lifts up
the rod to part the sea, and promises to give to them a Canaan
flowing with milk and honey.

Christ offends men because his gospel is intolerant of sin.

“Spiritual Leadership is not won by

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Spiritual Leadership is not won by
promotion, but by prayers and tears.

It is attained by much heart-searching
and humbling before God; by
self-surrender, a courageous sacrifice
of every idol, a bold uncompromising,
and uncomplaining embracing of the
cross, and by an eternal, unfaltering
looking unto Jesus crucified.

This is a great price, but it must be
unflinchingly paid by him who would
be a real spiritual leader of men, a
leader whose power is recognized
and felt in heaven, on earth and in
hell.”¬†¬†¬† -Samuel Brengle

WE NEED REVIVAL

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WE NEED REVIVAL
 . . . when we do not love Him as we once did.

 . . . when earthly interests and occupations are
      more important to us than eternal ones.

 . . . when we would rather watch TV and read secular
      books and magazines than read the Bible and pray.

 . . . when church dinners are better attended than prayer meetings.

 . . . when concerts draw bigger crowds than prayer meetings.

 . . . when we have little or no desire for prayer.

 . . . when we would rather make money than give money.

 . . . when we put people into leadership positions in our
      churches who do not meet scriptural qualifications.

 . . . when our Christianity is joyless and passionless.

 . . . when we know truth in our heads that we are not
      practicing in our lives.

 . . . when we make little effort to witness to the lost.

 . . . when we have time for sports, recreation, and
      entertainment, but not for Bible study and prayer.

 . . . when we do not tremble at the Word of God.

 . . . when preaching lacks conviction, confrontation,
      and divine fire and anointing.

 . . . when we seldom think thoughts of eternity.

 . . . when God’s people are more concerned about their
       jobs and their careers, than about the Kingdom
      of Christ and the salvation of the lost.

 . . . when God’s people get together with other believers
      and the conversation is primarily about the
      news, weather, and sports, rather than the Lord.

¬†. . . when church services are predictable and “business as usual.”

 . . . when believers can be at odds with each other and
      not feel compelled to pursue reconciliation.

 . . . when Christian husbands and wives are not praying together.

 . . . when our marriages are co-existing rather than
      full of the love of Christ.

 . . . when our children are growing up to adopt worldly
      values, secular philosophies, and ungodly lifestyles.

 . . . when we are more concerned about our children’s
      education and their athletic activities than about
      the condition of their souls.

 . . . when sin in the church is pushed under the carpet.

 . . . when known sin is not dealt with through the biblical
      process of discipline and restoration.

¬†. . . when we tolerate “little” sins of gossip,
      a critical spirit, and lack of love.

 . . . when we will watch things on television and movies that are not holy.

 . . . when our singing is half-hearted and our worship lifeless.

 . . . when our prayers are empty words designed to impress others.

 . . . when our prayers lack fervency.

 . . . when our hearts are cold and our eyes are dry.

 . . . when we aren’t seeing regular evidence of
      the supernatural power of God.

 . . . when we have ceased to weep and mourn and
       grieve over our own sin and the sin of others.

 . . . when we are content to live with explainable,
      ordinary Christianity and church services.

 . . . when we are bored with worship.

 . . . when people have to be entertained to be drawn to church.

 . . . when our music and dress become patterned after the world.

 . . . when we start fitting into and adapting to the world,
      rather than calling the world to adapt to God’s
      standards of holiness.

 . . . when we don’t long for the company and fellowship of God’s people.

 . . . when people have to be begged to give and to serve in the church.

 . . . when our giving is measured and calculated,
      rather than extravagant and sacrificial.

 . . . when we aren’t seeing lost people drawn to Jesus on a regular basis.

 . . . when we aren’t exercising faith and believing God for the impossible.

 . . . when we are more concerned about what others
      think about us than what God thinks about us.

 . . . when we are unmoved by the thought of neighbors,
      business associates, and acquaintances who are
      lost and without Christ.

 . . . when the lost world around us doesn’t know or care that we exist.

 . . . when we are making little or no difference in the secular world around us.

 . . . when the fire has gone out in our hearts, our marriages, and the church.

 . . . when we are blind to the extent of our need and don’t think we need revival.
The above article was by N. L. DeMoss

That painted harlot!

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That painted harlot!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“Jesus Meeting His Warriors”¬† No. 589. Genesis 14:18-20.

Brother, if ever you have seen Christ’s face, that painted
harlot, the world, will never win your love again.

Did you ever eat the pure white bread of heaven?
Then the brown, gritty bread of earth will never suit
you, but will break your teeth with gravel stones.

You will never care to drink earth’s sour and watery wine,
if you have once been made to drink of the wines on the
lees well refined- the spiced wine of Christ’s pomegranate.

If you want to be strengthened against the most subtle
worldly temptations, cry, “Let him kiss me with the kisses
of his mouth: for his love is better than wine‚ÄĚ; and you
may go forth to conflicts of every kind, more than a
conqueror, through Him that has loved you!

Losses, adversities, afflictions, griefs!

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Losses, adversities, afflictions, griefs!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon, “The Superlative
Excellence of the Holy Spirit‚Ä̬† No. 574.¬† John 16:7.

The saints of God may very justly reckon
  their losses among their greatest gains.

The adversities of believers minister much to their prosperity.

Although we know this, yet through the infirmity of the flesh
we tremble at soul-enriching afflictions, and dread to see those
black ships which bring us such freights of golden treasure.

When the Holy Spirit sanctifies the furnace, the flame refines
our gold and consumes our dross, yet the dull ore of our nature
likes not the glowing coals, and had rather lie quiet in the dark
mines of earth.

As silly children cry because they are called to drink the
medicine which will heal their sicknesses, even so do we.

Our gracious Savior, however, loves us too wisely to spare
us the trouble because of our childish fears; he foresees the
advantage which will spring from our griefs, and therefore
thrusts us into them out of wisdom and true affection.

The back door to the pit!

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The back door to the pit!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
‚ÄúA Hearer in Disguise‚ÄĚ No. 584. 1 Kings 14:6.

Many come to God’s house disguised in manner
  and appearance. How good you all look!

When we sing and you take your books, how
heavenly-minded!  And when we pray, how
reverent you are! How your heads are all bowed-
your eyes covered with your hands!  I do not know
how much praying there is when you sit in a devout
posture, though you assume the attitude and compose
your countenance as those who draw near to supplicate
the Lord. I am afraid there are many of you who do not
pray a word or present a petition, though you assume
the posture of suppliants.

When the singing is going on there are many who never
sing a word with the spirit and the understanding.

In the house of God I am afraid there are many who wear
a mask, stand as God’s people stand, sit as they sit, pray
as they pray, and sing as they sing-  and all the while what
are you doing?
Some of you have been attending to your children while
we have been singing tonight. Some of you have been casting
up your ledger, attending to your farms, scheming about your
carpentering and bricklaying; yet all the while if we had looked
into your faces we might have thought you were reverently
worshiping God.

Oh! those solemn faces, and those reverent looks,
  they do not deceive the Most High God!

He knows who and what you are!

He sees you as clearly as men see  through glass.
As for hiding from the Almighty, how can you hide
yourself from him? As well attempt to hide in a glass
case, for all the world is a glass case before God!

When you look into a glass beehive, you can see the bees and
everything they do- such is this world, a sort of glass beehive
in which God can see everything. The eyes of God are on you
continually; no veil of hypocrisy can screen you from him.

It is a melancholy and a most solemn reflection that there are
many who profess to be Christians who are not Christians.

There was a Judas among the twelve; there was a Demas among
the early disciples; and we must always expect to find chaff on
God’s floor mingled with the wheat.

I have tried, the Lord knows, to preach as plainly and as
much home to the mark as I could, to sift and try you; but
for all that the hypocrite will come in. After the most searching
ministry, there are still some who will wrap themselves about
with a ‘mantle of deception’. Though we cry aloud and spare
not, and bid you lay hold on eternal life, yet, alas! how many
are content with a mere name to live and are dead.

Many come here and even hold office in the Church, yes,
the minister himself may even preach the Word, and after
all be hollow and empty. How many who dress and look
fair outside, are only fit to be tinder for the devil’s tinder
box, for they are all dry and empty within!

God save as from a profession if it is not real!

I pray that we may know the worst of our case.
If I must be damned, I would sooner go to hell unholy,
than as a hypocrite- that back-door to the pit is the
thing I dread most of all.

Oh! to sit at the Lord’s table, and to drink of the cup of devils!
To be recognized among God‚Äôs own here, and then to find one’s
own name left out when God reads the muster-roll of his servants!

Oh! what a portion for eternity!

I bid you tear off this mask, and if the grace of God is not
in you, I beg you to go into the world which is your fit place,
and abstain from joining the Church, if you are not really a
member of the body of Christ.

‚ÄúYou, God, see me!‚ÄĚ
Write that on the palm of your hand, and look
at it; wake up in the morning with it; sleep with it
before you on your curtains.

‚ÄúYou, God, see me!‚ÄĚ

Are you making yourself attractive to Cancer?

Click the image to take the Cancer test

Hi all, I’ve just received an email from my lovely Wife Sarah saying “just wondered if you could share this info on your blog’s to all of the super people on there for me??? Wonderful husband who I love ¬†:)‚ÄĚ So here goes‚Ķ..

As you all may know already…..Sarah works for World Cancer Research Fund, you might have read about my Tough Mudder challenge (that I’m training for at the moment) to raise funds and awareness for this charity.

“It would be great if everyone could promote our amazing new cancer health check on WordPress, Twitter and Facebook today and next week using the hashtag #HealthandCancer ‚Äď it is such a valuable tool and we want to make sure that people get the most from it!”

Take the 5 minute diet test…..

Please click the button to take the Cancer test

 

Are you making yourself attractive to Cancer?

You may not be aware of all the lifestyle choices we make that can affect our cancer risk.

I can‚Äôt thank you guys enough for all of the support you‚Äôve given Sarah & i over the years!! Thank you and God Bless. ūüė鬆

Believers err in many things, fall

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Believers err in many things, fall
in many ways, and sin is mixed with
all they do; but in the tenor of their
lives all believers are faithful, seeking
the will and glory of God in all things
and above all things.
As we become increasingly aware of our
personal sinfulness and corruption, as
we are humbled by the depravity of our
hearts,  nothing is more comforting,
cheerful, and reassuring to God’s  saints,
than the knowledge of the fact that in
the eyes of Christ  we stand perfect in the
beauty of his righteousness, the beauty
 which he has put upon us.
     -Don Fortner

Avenge his death!

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Avenge his death!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
‚ÄúFor Christ‚Äôs Sake.‚ÄĚ No. 614¬† Eph. 4:32.

One of the first things which every Christian should feel
bound to do “for Christ‚Äôs sake” is to avenge his death.
“Avenge his death,” says one, “upon whom?”
Upon his murderers. And who were they? Our sins! Our sins?
“Each of our sins became a nail, and unbelief the spear.”

The very thought of sin having put Jesus to death should
make the Christian hate it with a terrible hatred. When I
recollect that my sins tore my Savior’s body on the tree,
took the crown from his head, and the comfort from his
heart, and sent him down into the shades of death, I vow
revenge against them.

“O sin! Happy shall he be who takes your little
¬†¬†¬†¬† ones and dashes them against a stone!”

Yes, doubly blessed is he who, like Samuel, shall hew
the Agag of his sins in pieces before the Lord, and not
spare so much as one single fault, or folly, or vice,
because it slew the Savior.

Be holy, be pure, be just, be separate 
from sinners for Christ’s sake.

“See from his head, his hands, his feet,
 Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
 Did ever such love and sorrow meet,
 Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

 His dying crimson, like a robe,
 Spreads over his body on the tree;
 Then am I dead to all the globe,
 And all the globe is dead to me.

 Were the whole realm of nature mine,
 That were a present far too small;
 Love so amazing, so divine,
¬†Demands my soul, my life, my all.”

Can these dry bones live?

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Can these dry bones live?
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
‚ÄúThe Restoration and Conversion of the Jews‚ÄĚ
No. 582.  Ezekiel 37:1-10.

Men, by nature, are just like these dry bones
exposed in the open valley. The whole spiritual
frame is dislocated; the sap and marrow of
spiritual life has been dried out of manhood.
Human nature is not only dead, but, like the
bleaching bones which have long whitened in
the sun, it has lost all trace of the divine life.
Will and power have both departed. Spiritual
death reigns undisturbed. Yet the dry bones
can live. Under the preaching of the Word, the
vilest sinners can be reclaimed, the most stubborn
wills can be subdued, the most unholy lives can
be sanctified. When the holy ‚Äúbreath‚ÄĚ comes
from the four winds, when the divine Spirit
descends to own the Word, then multitudes of
sinners, as on Pentecost’s hallowed day, stand
up upon their feet, an exceeding great army,
to praise the Lord their God.

SIN

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SIN
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
‚ÄúThe Smoke of Their Torments‚ÄĚ
No. 602.  Genesis 19:27, 28.

See the blackness of your sin by the light of hell’s fire!

Hell is the true harvest of the sowing of iniquity.

Come, lost sinner, I charge you to look at hell–
  Hell is what sin brings forth.
  Hell is the full-grown child.
  You have dandled your sin.
  You have kissed and fondled it.
  But see what sin comes to.
  Hell is but sin full-grown, that is all.

You played with that young lion; see how it roars and how
it tears in pieces now that it has come to its strength.

Did you not smile at the azure scales of the serpent?
See its poison; see to what its stings have brought those
who have never looked to the brazen serpent for healing.

Do you account of sin as a peccadillo, a flaw
scarcely to be noticed, a mere joke, a piece of fun?
But see the tree which springs from it.
There is no joke there- no fun in hell.

You did not know that sin was so evil.
Some of you will never know how evil it is until the
sweetness of honey has passed from your mouth,
and the bitterness of death preys at your vitals.

You will count sin harmless until you
are hopelessly stricken with its sting!

My God, from this day forward help me to see through the
thin curtain which covers up sin, and whenever Satan tells
me that such-and-such a thing is for my pleasure, let me
recollect the pain of that penalty wrapped up in it. When
he tells me that such a thing is for my profit, let me know
that it can never profit me to gain the whole world and lose
my own soul. Let me feel it is no sport to sin, for only a
madman would scatter firebrands and death, and say it is sport.

Is God‚Äôs Love Unconditional?

Already Not Yet

cross_nailR.C. Sproul:

It has become fashionable in evangelical circles to speak somewhat glibly of the unconditional love of God. It is certainly a pleasing message for people to hear and conforms to a certain kind of political correctness. In our desire to communicate to people the sweetness of the gospel, the readiness of God to cover our sins with forgiveness, and the incredible depth of His love displayed on the cross, we indulge in a hyperbolic expression of the scope and extent of His love.

Where in Scripture do we find this notion of the unconditional love of God? If God’s love is absolutely unconditional, why do we tell people that they have to repent and have faith in order to be saved? God sets forth clear conditions for a person to be saved. It may be true that in some sense God loves even those who fail to meet…

View original post 501 more words

Sound theologians!

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Sound theologians!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
PLAIN WORDS WITH THE CARELESS
No. 778 Luke 8:28.

A man may know a great deal about true
religion, and yet be a total stranger to it.

He may know that Jesus Christ is the Son of
God, and yet he may be possessed of a devil.

Mere knowledge does nothing for us but puff us up.

We may know, and know, and know, and so
increase our responsibility, without bringing
us at all into a state of salvation.

Beware of resting in head-knowledge.

Beware of relying upon orthodoxy,
for without love to Christ, with all your
correctness of doctrine, you will be a
sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.

It is well to be sound in the faith,
but the soundness must be in the
heart as well as in the head.

There is as ready a way to destruction by the road
of orthodoxy as by the paths of heterodoxy.

Hell has thousands in it who were never heretics.

Remember that the devils “believe and tremble.”

There are no sounder theologians than devils,
and yet their conduct is not affected by
what they believe, and consequently they still
remain at enmity to the Most High God. A mere
head-believer is on a par therefore with fallen
angels, and he will have his portion with them
forever unless grace shall change his heart.

Giddily gliding along the broad road that leads to destruction!


Grace logoGiddily gliding along the broad road that leads to destruction! 


(
Arthur Pink, “Laughter”)

There is a natural laughter, which is innocent and harmless.

There is a spiritual laughter, which is God-pleasing and beneficial.

There is a carnal laughter, which is sinful and injurious. 

“Woe unto you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep!” (Luke 6:25). The laughter which Christ here denounced, was a state of heart which lived only for the present, and had no serious concern for the future. It was His censure of those who are¬†giddily gliding along the broad road that leads to destruction!¬†In the light of the immediate context, the reference is to those who rejoiced in the abundance of their worldly possessions, and found their delight in making gods of their bellies.¬†

“I said of laughter,¬†‘It is madness,’¬†and of pleasure,¬†‘What does it accomplish?’” (Ecclesiastes 2:2). Those were the words of one who was granted the opportunity and afforded the means, of gratifying every carnal desire and of obtaining every object which the natural heart and eye can covet ‚ÄĒ only to prove from experience, that all were but “vanity and vexation of spirit.” There is no real or lasting happiness in anything which money can purchase. The void within the human heart cannot be filled by the objects of time and sense. For one to pursue the¬†shadows ‚ÄĒ¬†and miss the substance; to devote himself to the things which¬†perish¬†with the using ‚ÄĒ yet be indifferent to those which are eternal; to seek his delight in gratifying the lusts of the flesh ‚ÄĒ and neglect the welfare of his soul, is nothing but a species of insanity! “For as the crackling of thorns under a pot [noisy, but of brief duration] ‚ÄĒ so is the laughter of the fool!” (Ecclesiastes 7:6).

“All who see Me, laugh Me to scorn!” (Psalm 22:7). So far were they from pitying Him, they added to His afflictions with their ribaldry, making jest of His very sufferings! Horrid humanity! Fearful impiety! None should ever doubt the total depravity of man, as they see here to what unspeakable depths of iniquity man sinks, when the restraining hand of God is removed from him! The spectators of the dying Redeemer’s agonies, exerted the utmost of the venom of their hearts upon Him! This was a¬†Diabolical¬†laughter!

There is also a¬†divine¬†laughter, which is dreadful and disastrous. To such David referred: “He who sits in the heavens shall laugh” (Psalm 2:4), which is the laughter of¬†derision¬†against those who think to defy Him with impunity.¬†

And again God says, “I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your fear comes!” (Proverbs 1:26), which is the laughter of¬†divine retribution. He has “called” ‚ÄĒ by His Word, His providences, His ministers, and their own consciences ‚ÄĒ but they “refused” to heed Him. They were neither melted by the abundance of His¬†mercies‚ÄĒ nor awed by the dreadfulness of His¬†threats. They did not respect His Law ‚ÄĒ and had no heart for His Gospel. But though He bears the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction with much long-suffering, He has appointed a day when they shall be made to reap as they have sown. As they scorned His messengers when they warned of the wrath to come ‚ÄĒ so shall He turn a deaf ear then to their cries for mercy, and righteously laugh at their calamity! Oh, that none our readers may ever be the objects of this laugh!

Our plans and dreams

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Our plans and dreams

(J.R. Miller)

“In his heart a man plans his course ‚ÄĒ but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9¬†

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart ‚ÄĒ but it is the LORD’s purpose which prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

There are few entirely unbroken lives in this world; there are few men who fulfill their own hopes and plans, without thwarting or interruption at some point. Now and then, there is one who in early youth marks out a course for himself ‚ÄĒ and then moves straight on in it to its goal.

But most people’s lives turn out very different from their own early dreams. Many find at the close of their life, that in scarcely one particular, have they realized their own life-dreams; at every point God has simply set aside their plans ‚ÄĒ and substituted His own. There are some people whose plans are so completely thwarted, that their story is most pathetic. Yet we have but to follow it through to the end, to see that¬†the broken life¬†was better and more effective, than if their own plans had been carried out.

“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

Think about such things!


Grace logoThink about such things!


(J.R. Miller)

“The¬†cheerful heart¬†has a continual feast!” Proverbs 15:15¬†

We pretty much see just what we are looking for. If our mind has become trained to look for troubles, difficulties, problems, and all gloomy and dreary things ‚ÄĒ then we shall find just what we seek. On the other hand, it is quite as easy to form the habit of looking always for beauty, for good, for happiness, for gladness ‚ÄĒ and here too we shall find precisely what we seek.

It has been said that the habit of always seeing the bright side in life, is worth a large income to a man. It makes life a great deal easier. 

None of us are naturally drawn to a gloomy person, who everywhere finds something to complain about ‚ÄĒ but we are all attracted to one who sees some beauty in everything. Joy is a¬†transfiguring¬†quality. Its¬†secret is a glad heart.

“Finally, brothers,¬†
 whatever is true, 
 whatever is noble, 
 whatever is right, 
 whatever is pure, 
 whatever is lovely, 
¬†whatever is admirable ‚ÄĒ¬†
¬†if anything is excellent or praiseworthy ‚ÄĒ¬†
think about such things!” Philippians 4:8¬†

Black seeds without beauty

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Black seeds without beauty

(J.R. Miller)

“Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Luke 22:42

“Lord, what do You want me to do?” Acts 9:6

The first condition of consecration, must always be entire readiness to accept God’s will for our life. It is not enough to be willing to do Christian work. There are many people who are quite ready to do¬†certain things¬†in the service of Christ, who are not ready to do¬†anything¬†He might want them to do.¬†

God does not send us two classes of providences
¬†‚ÄĒ one good, and one evil. All are good. Affliction is¬†God’s goodness in the seed. It takes time for a seed to grow and to¬† develop into fruitfulness. Many of the¬†best¬†things of our lives ‚ÄĒ come to us¬†first¬†as pain, suffering, earthly loss or disappointment ‚ÄĒ¬†black seeds without beauty¬†‚ÄĒ but afterward they grow into the rich harvest of righteousness!

“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 12:11¬†

Adultery Pollutes

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She is a common sewer!

(Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments.¬†

This selection is longer, but it is needful in¬†our immoral society. Though it particularly addresses¬†adultery, it easily applies to any kind of¬†immorality. This is the best article I have ever read, on how to deal with¬†lust. Every man struggles with lust‚ÄĒso please forward this on.)

“You shall not commit adultery.”¬†
Exodus 20:14

This commandment is set up as a hedge to keep out impurity; and those who break this hedge‚ÄĒa serpent shall bite them! The¬†fountain¬†of this sin is lust. God is a pure, holy being, and has an infinite antipathy against all impurity. We must take heed of running on the¬†rock of impurity, and so¬†making shipwreck of our chastity. The meaning of the commandment is not only that we should not stain our¬†bodies¬†with immorality‚ÄĒbut that we should keep our¬†souls¬†pure. To have a chaste body‚ÄĒbut an unclean soul, is like a beautiful face with a cancerous heart. “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16.

There is a¬†mental¬†adultery. “Whoever¬†looks¬†on a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery with her already in his¬†heart.” Matthew 5:28. As a man may die of an inward bleeding‚ÄĒso he may be damned for the inward boilings of lust, if it is not mortified. That I may deter you from the sin of adultery, let me show you¬†the great evil¬†of it.

(1) Adultery is a thievish sin. It is the highest sort of theft. The adulterer steals from his neighbor, that which is more than his goods and estate; he steals away his wife from him!

(2) Adultery debases a person.¬†It makes him resemble the beasts; therefore the adulterer is described like a horse¬†neighing. “Everyone¬†neighed¬†after his neighbor’s wife.” Jeremiah 5:8. It is worse than brutish; for some creatures which are void of reason‚ÄĒyet by the instinct of nature, observe some decorum and chastity. The¬†turtle-dove¬†is a chaste creature, and keeps to its mate. And the¬†stork, wherever he flies, comes into no nest but his own. Naturalists write that if a stork, leaving his own mate, joins with any other, all the rest of the storks fall upon it, and pull its feathers from it. Adultery is¬†worse than brutish, it degrades a person of his honor.

(3) Adultery pollutes.¬†The devil is called an¬†unclean¬†spirit. Luke 11:24. The¬†adulterer¬†is the devil’s first-born; he is unclean; he is a moving quagmire. He is all over ulcerated with sin; his¬†eyes¬†sparkle with lust; his¬†mouth¬†foams out filth; his¬†heart¬†burns like mount Etna, in unclean desires.¬†He is so filthy,¬†that if he dies in this sin, all the flames of hell will never purge away his immorality! And, as for the¬†adulteress,¬†who can paint her black enough? The Scripture calls her a¬†deep ditch.¬†Proverbs 23:27.¬†She is a common sewer!¬†The¬†body¬†of a harlot is a walking dung-hill, and her¬†soul¬†a lesser hell!

(4) Adultery is destructive to the body.
¬†“Afterward you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body.” Proverbs 5:11. Immorality turns the body into a hospital, it brings foul diseases, and eats the beauty of the face. As the flame wastes the candle, so the¬†fire of lust¬†consumes the body. The adulterer hastens his own death. “So she seduced him with her pretty speech. With her flattery she enticed him. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter or like a trapped stag, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life!” Proverbs 7:21-23.¬†

(5.) Adultery is a drain upon the purse; it wastes not the body only‚ÄĒbut the estate.
¬†“Keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute¬†reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life!” Proverbs 6:24-26. Whores are the devil’s horse-leeches, sponges that suck in money. The prodigal son spent his inheritance, when he fell among harlots. Luke 15:30. The concubine of King Edward III, when he was dying, got all she could from him, and even plucked the rings off his fingers.

(6) Adultery destroys reputation.
¬†“But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul. Wounds and constant¬†disgrace¬†are his lot. His¬†shame¬†will never be erased!” Proverbs 6:32, 33.¬†Wounds of reputation‚ÄĒno physician can heal. When the adulterer dies, his shame lives. When his body rots underground, his name rots above ground. His¬†bastard children¬†are living monuments of his shame.

(7) Adultery impairs the mind. 
It steals away the understanding; it stupefies the heart. “Whoredom and wine take away the heart.” Hosea 4:11. It eats all purity out of the heart. Solomon besotted himself with women, and they enticed him to idolatry.

(8) Adultery incurs temporal judgments.
¬†The Mosaic law made the penalty for adultery, to be¬†death. “The adulterer and adulteress shall surely be put to death;” and the usual death was¬†stoning. Lev 20:10; Deut. 22:24. The¬†Salons¬†commanded people guilty of this sin, to be burnt. The¬†Romans¬†caused their heads to be stricken off. Like a scorpion‚ÄĒthis sin carries a sting in its tail. “For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge!” Proverbs 6:34. The adulterer is often killed in the act of his sin. “Lust’s practice is to make a joyful¬†entrance‚ÄĒbut she¬†leaves¬†in misery.” I have read of two in London, who, having defiled themselves with adultery, were immediately struck dead with lightening from heaven. If all who are now guilty of this sin were to be punished in this manner, it would¬†rain fire¬†again, as on Sodom.

(9) Adultery, without repentance, damns the soul. 
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexual offenders . . . will inherit the kingdom of God!” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.¬†The fire of lust, brings to the fire of hell.¬†“God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral!” Hebrews 13:4. Though¬†men¬†may neglect to judge them‚ÄĒyet¬†God¬†will judge them! He will judge them assuredly; they shall not escape the hand of justice; and He will punish them severely. The¬†harlot’s breasts¬†keeps from¬†Abraham’s bosom!¬†“The¬†delight¬†lasts a moment‚ÄĒthe¬†torment¬†an eternity!” Who for a cup of pleasure‚ÄĒwould drink a sea of wrath! “Her guests are in the depths of hell.” Proverbs 9:18. The harlot is perfumed with powders, and lovely to look on‚ÄĒbut poisonous and damnable to the soul! “She has cast down many wounded, yes, many strong men have been slain by her.” Proverbs 7:26.

(10) The adulterer does all he can, to destroy the soul of another‚ÄĒand so kills two at once!
¬†He is worse than the thief; for, suppose a thief robs a man, yes, and also takes away his life‚ÄĒ the man’s¬†soul¬†may be happy; he may go to heaven as well as if he had died in his bed. But he who commits adultery, endangers the soul of another, and does all he can, to deprive her of salvation. What a fearful thing it is‚ÄĒto be an instrument to draw another to hell!

(11) The adulterer is abhorred of God.
¬†“The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; he who is¬†abhorred¬†by the Lord, will fall into it.” Proverbs 22:14. What can be worse than to be¬†abhorred¬†by God? God may be¬†angry¬†with His own children; but for God to¬†abhor¬†a man‚ÄĒis the highest degree of hatred! The immoral person stands upon the threshold of hell; and when¬†death¬†gives him a push‚ÄĒhe tumbles in!

All this should sound a¬†warning¬†in our ears, and call us off from the pursuit of so damnable a sin as immorality. Hear what the Scriptures say: “Her house is the way to hell.” Proverbs 7:27.

I shall give some directions, by way of antidote, to keep from the infection of this sin.

(1) Do not come into the¬†company¬†of a whorish woman; avoid her house, as a seaman does a rock. “Run from her! Don’t go near the door of her house!” Proverbs 5:8. He who would not have the plague, must not come near infected houses; every whore-house has the plague in it. Not to avoid the¬†occasion¬†of sin, and yet pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” is, as if one should put his finger into the candle, and yet pray that it may not be burnt!

(2) Look to your¬†eyes. Much sin comes in by the eye. “Having eyes full of adultery.” 2 Pet 2:14. The¬†eye¬†tempts the¬†imagination, and the imagination works upon the¬†heart. A lustful amorous eye, may usher in sin. Eve first¬†saw¬†the tree of knowledge‚ÄĒand then she¬†took. Gen 3:6. First she¬†looked‚ÄĒand then she¬†loved. The¬†eye¬†often sets the¬†heart¬†on fire; therefore Job laid a law upon his eyes. “I made a covenant with my eyes‚ÄĒnot to look with lust upon a young woman.” Job 31:1.

(3) Look to your¬†lips. Take heed of any unclean word which may enkindle unclean thoughts in yourselves or others. “Evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Cor. 15:33. Impure discourse, is the bellows to blow up the fire of lust. Much evil is conveyed to the¬†heart¬†by the¬†tongue. “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth!” Psalm 141:3.

(4) Look in a special manner to your¬†heart. “Guard your¬†heart¬†with all diligence.” Proverbs 4:23. Every person has a tempter in his own bosom! “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, adultery, all other sexual immorality.” Matthew 15:19.¬†Thinking¬†of sin, makes way for the¬†act¬†of sin. Suppress the first risings of sin in your heart. As the serpent, when danger is near‚ÄĒguards his¬†head, so keep your¬†heart, which is the spring from whence all lustful motions proceed.

(5) Look to your¬†attire. We read of the attire of a harlot. Proverbs 7:10. A wanton dress is a provocation to lust. A painted face, and half-naked breasts, are allurements to immorality. Where the¬†sign¬†is hung out‚ÄĒpeople will go in and¬†taste¬†the liquor. Jerome says, “those who by their lascivious attire endeavor to draw others to lust, though no evil follows‚ÄĒare tempters‚ÄĒand shall be punished, because they offered the¬†poison¬†to others, even though they would not drink.”

(6) Take heed of evil company. Sin is a very contagious disease; one person tempts another to sin, and hardens him in it. There are three cords which draw men to immorality: 
the inclination of the heart, 
the persuasion of evil company, and 
the embraces of the harlot. This¬†threefold cord¬†is not easily broken. “A fire was kindled in their company.” Psalm 106:18. The fire of lust is kindled in bad company.

(7) Beware of going to¬†theaters¬†and¬†plays. A play-house is often a preface to a whorehouse. “Plays furnish the seeds of wickedness.” We are bid to avoid all¬†appearance¬†of evil; and are not plays the appearance of evil? Such sights are there, which are not fit to be beheld with chaste eyes. A learned divine observes, that many have on their death-beds confessed, with tears, that the pollution of their bodies has been occasioned by going to plays.

(8) Take heed of lascivious books and pictures, which provoke to lust. As the reading of the Scripture stirs up love to God, so reading vile books stirs up the mind to wickedness. To lascivious books I may add lascivious pictures, which bewitch the eye, and are incendiaries to lust! They secretly convey poison to the heart. 

(9) Take heed of¬†excess¬†in diet. When gluttony and drunkenness lead the van, immorality and wantonness bring up the rear. “Wine inflames lust.” “Sodom’s sins were pride, laziness, and¬†gluttony.” Ezekiel 16:49. The¬†foulest¬†weeds grow out of the¬†fattest¬†soil. Immorality proceeds from excess. “When I had¬†fed¬†them to the full, everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife.” Jer. 5:8. Get the “golden bridle of temperance.” God allows the¬†refreshment of nature, and what may fit us the better for his service; but beware of surfeit. Excess in temporal things‚ÄĒclouds the mind, chokes good affections, and provokes lust. “I discipline my body and bring it under strict control.” 1 Cor. 9:27. The¬†flesh pampered‚ÄĒis liable to immorality.

(10) Take heed of¬†idleness. When a man is idle, he is ready to receive any temptation. The devil sows most of his¬†seeds of temptation¬†in¬†fallow¬†ground. Idleness is the cause of sodomy and immorality. “Sodom’s sins were pride,¬†laziness, and gluttony.” Ezekiel 16:49. When David was idle on the top of his house, he espied Bathsheba, and committed adultery with her. 2 Samuel 11:4. Jerome gave his friend counsel to be always well employed in God’s vineyard, that when the devil came, he might have no leisure to listen to temptation.

(11) To avoid fornication and adultery, let every man have a chaste, entire¬†love to his own wife. Ezekiel’s wife was the desire of his eyes. Ezekiel 24:16. When Solomon had dissuaded from immoral women, he prescribed a remedy against it. “Rejoice¬†with the wife of your youth.” Proverbs 5:18. It is not¬†having¬†a wife‚ÄĒbut¬†loving¬†a wife‚ÄĒ which makes a man live chastely. He who loves his wife, whom Solomon calls his¬†fountain, will not go abroad to drink of¬†muddy, poisoned waters. Pure marital love is a gift of God, and comes from heaven; but, like the vestal fire, it must be nourished, so that it does not go out. He who does not love his wife, is the likeliest person to embrace the bosom of a harlot.

(12) Labor to get the¬†fear of God¬†into your hearts. “By the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil.” Proverbs 16:6. As the embankment keeps out the water, so the fear of the Lord keeps out immorality. Such as lack the fear of God, lack the¬†bridle¬†which should check them from sin! How did Joseph keep from his mistress’ temptation? The fear of God pulled him back! “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against¬†God!”¬†Genesis 39:9. Bernard calls¬†holy fear, “the door-keeper of the soul.” As a nobleman’s porter stands at the door, and keeps out vagrants, so the fear of God stands and keeps out all sinful temptations from entering.

(13) Take delight in the¬†Word of God. “How sweet are your words unto my taste.” Psalm 119:103. Chrysostom compares God’s Word to a garden. If we walk in this garden, and suck sweetness from the¬†flowers of the promises, we shall never care to pluck the “forbidden fruit.” “Let the Scriptures be my pure pleasure,” says Augustine. The reason why people seek after unchaste, sinful pleasures‚ÄĒis because they have nothing better. Caesar riding through a city, and seeing the women play with¬†dogs¬†and¬†parrots, said, “Surely, they have no¬†children.” So those who sport with harlots, have no better pleasures. He who has once tasted¬†Christ in a promise, is ravished with delight; and he would¬† scorn a¬†temptation¬†to sin! Job said, that the Word was his “appointed food.” Job 23:12. No wonder then, that he made a “covenant with his eyes.”

(14) If you would abstain from adultery, use serious consideration.

¬†¬†¬† [1] Consider that God sees you in the act of sin! He sees all your¬†curtain¬†wickedness. He is¬†totus oculus‚ÄĒ“all eye.” The¬†clouds¬†are no canopy, the¬†night¬†is no curtain‚ÄĒto hide you from God’s eye! Whenever you sin‚ÄĒyour Judge looks on! “I have seen your detestable acts‚ÄĒyour adulteries and your neighings.” Jer. 13:27. “They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives. I know it and am a witness to it! declares the Lord.” Jer. 29:23.¬†

¬†¬†¬† [2] Consider that few who are entangled in the sin of adultery, ever recover from the snare. “None that go to her return again.” Proverbs 2:19. This made some of the ancients conclude that adultery was an unpardonable sin; but it is not so. David repented. Mary Magdalene was a weeping penitent; upon her amorous eyes which sparkled with lust, she sought to be revenged, by washing Christ’s feet with her tears!¬†Some, therefore have recovered from this snare. “None¬†that go to her return,” that is, “very few.” It is rare to hear of any who are enchanted and bewitched with the sin of immorality, who recover from it. “I find more bitter than death the woman who is a¬†snare, whose heart is a¬†trap¬†and whose hands are¬†chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.” Eccl. 7:26. Her “heart is a trap,” that is, she is subtle to deceive those who come to her; and “her hands are chains,” that is her embraces are powerful to hold and entangle her lovers. This consideration should make all fearful of this sin.¬†Soft pleasures, harden the heart.¬†

¬†¬†¬† [3] Consider what Scripture says, which may lay a barricade in the way to this sin. “I will be a swift witness against the adulterers.” Malachi 3:5. It is good when God is a witness “for¬†us”, when He witnesses to our sincerity, as He did to Job’s; but it is sad to have God as a “witness¬†against¬†us.” “I,” says God, “will be a swift witness against the adulterer.” And who shall disprove God’s witness? He is both¬†witness¬†and¬†judge!¬†“God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.” Hebrews 13:4.¬†

¬†¬†¬† [4] Consider the sad farewell, which the sin of adultery leaves. It leaves a hell in the conscience. “The lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. But the result is as bitter as poison, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to hell.” Proverbs 5:3-5. The¬†goddess Diana¬†was so artfully drawn, that she seemed to smile upon those who¬†came¬†into¬†her temple‚ÄĒbut frown on those who¬†went out. So the harlot¬†smiles¬†on her lovers as they¬†come¬†to her‚ÄĒbut at last, they come to the¬†frown¬†and the sting! “Until an arrow pierces his liver.” Proverbs 7:23. “Her end is bitter.”¬†

When a man has been virtuous, the¬†labor¬†is gone‚ÄĒbut the¬†comfort¬†remains; but when he has been wicked and immoral, the¬†pleasure¬†is gone‚ÄĒbut the¬†sting¬†remains. “He gains momentary pleasure‚ÄĒbut after that, eternal torment,” says Jerome. When the¬†senses¬†have been feasted with unchaste pleasures, the¬†soul¬†is left to pay the reckoning. Stolen waters are sweet; but, as poison, though sweet in the mouth, it torments the conscience.¬†Sin always ends in tragedy!¬†Sad is that which Fincelius reports of a priest in Flanders, who enticed a young girl to immorality. When she objected how vile a sin it was, he told her that by authority from the Pope, he could commit any sin; so at last he drew her to his wicked purpose. But when they had been together a while, in came the devil, and took away the harlot from the priest’s side, and, notwithstanding all her crying out, carried her away! If the devil should come and carry away all who are guilty of immorality in this nation‚ÄĒI fear more would be carried away, than would be left behind!

(16)¬†Pray¬†against this sin. Luther gave a lady this advice, that when any lust began to rise in her heart, she should go to prayer. Prayer is the best armor against sin; it quenches the¬†wild fire of lust.¬†If prayer will “cast out the devil,” it will certainly cast out those lusts which come from the devil.

O let us labor for soul purity!¬†To keep the soul pure‚ÄĒhave recourse to the blood of Christ, which is the “fountain open, to cleanse from sin and impurity.” Zech. 13:1. A soul¬†steeped¬†in the briny tears of repentance, and¬†bathed¬†in the blood of Christ‚ÄĒis made pure! Say, “Lord, my soul is defiled! I pollute all I touch! O purge me with hyssop‚ÄĒlet Christ’s blood sprinkle me, let the Holy Spirit anoint me. O make me pure, that I may be taken to heaven‚ÄĒwhere I shall be as¬†holy¬†as You would have me to be‚ÄĒand ashappy¬†as I can desire to be!”

The Delilah in the bosom!

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The Delilah in the bosom!

(Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer“)

If you would not come short of the kingdom of heaven, 
take heed of indulging any sin. One millstone will drown, 
as well as more. One sin lived in will damn, as well as more. 
If any one sin reigns‚ÄĒit will keep you from reigning in the¬†
kingdom of heaven. 

Especially keep from sins of your natural constitution; 
your darling sin. “I kept myself from¬†my¬†iniquity”‚ÄĒthat¬†
sin which my heart would soonest decoy and flatter me 
into. As in the hive there is one master bee‚ÄĒso in the¬†
heart there is one master-sin. Oh, take heed of this!

How may this darling-sin be known?

1. That sin for which a man cannot endure the arrow of 
a reproof, is the bosom-sin. Men can be content to have 
other sins declaimed against; but if a minister puts his 
finger upon the sore, and touches upon that one special 
sin‚ÄĒthen their eyes flash with fire, they are enraged,¬†
and spit the venom of malice!

2. That sin which a man’s heart runs out most to, and he¬†
is most easily captivated by‚ÄĒis¬†the Delilah in the bosom!¬†
One man is overcome with wantonness, another by worldliness. 
It is a sad thing for a man to be so bewitched by a beloved sin
that he will part with the whole kingdom of heaven‚ÄĒto gratify¬†
that lust!

3. That sin which a man is least inclined to part with, is the 
endeared sin. Of all his sons, Jacob could most hardly part with 
Benjamin. “Will you take¬†Benjamin¬†away!” Gen 42:35. So says¬†
the sinner, “This and that sin I have left‚ÄĒbut must¬†Benjamin¬†go¬†
too? Must I part with this delightful sin? That goes to my heart!”

Take heed especially of this master-sin. The strength of sin 
lies in the beloved sin, which, like a cancer striking at the 
heart, brings death. 

I have read of a monarch, who being pursued by the enemy, 
threw away the crown of gold on his head‚ÄĒthat he might run¬†
the faster. Just so, the sin which you wore as a crown of gold 
must be thrown away‚ÄĒthat you may run the faster to the¬†
kingdom of heaven. 

Oh, if you would not lose glory, mortify the beloved sin! Set it, 
as Uriah‚ÄĒin the forefront of the battle to be slain. By plucking¬†
out this¬†right eye‚ÄĒyou will see the better to go to heaven!


The Trojan horse

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The Trojan horse

(Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer“)

“Deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:13

In this petition, we pray to be delivered from the 
evil of our heart, that it may not entice us to sin. 

The heart is the poisoned fountain, from whence 
all actual sins flow. “For¬†from within, out of the heart¬†
of man
, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, 
murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, 
sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.”¬†
Mark 7:21-22. 

The cause of all evil lies in a man’s own bosom‚ÄĒall¬†
sin begins at the heart. Lust is first conceived in the 
heart‚ÄĒand then it is midwifed into the world. Whence¬†
comes rash anger? The heart sets the tongue on fire. 
The heart is the shop where all sin is contrived and 
hammered out. 


The heart is¬†the greatest seducer¬†“Each one is¬†
tempted when he is carried away and enticed by 
his own lust.” James 1:14.¬†The devil could not hurt¬†
us‚ÄĒif our own hearts did not give consent.
 All that 
he can do is to lay the bait‚ÄĒbut it is our fault to¬†
swallow it! How needful, therefore, is this prayer,
“Deliver us from the evil of our hearts!”

It was Augustine’s prayer, “Lord, deliver me from¬†
that evil man‚ÄĒmyself!”

Beware of the¬†bosom traitor‚ÄĒthe flesh. The heart¬†
of a man is¬†the Trojan horse‚ÄĒout of which comes¬†
a whole army of lusts! O let us pray to be delivered 
from the lusts and deceits of our own heart! 

The Evil Consequences

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Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”¬†
Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.” 2 Samuel 12:13-14
David’s experience¬†is very instructive to us. While it teaches us that God can and will forgive us, if we repent of our great and gross sins‚ÄĒyet it also teaches us that sin is an evil and a bitter thing; and that, though the guilt of it may be removed, the evil consequences of it will cling to us and be a subject of sorrow to us‚ÄĒuntil God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes!

Charles H Spurgeon

Her ways lead down to Hell

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Man loves his own ruin. The¬†cup of pleasure¬†is so sweet that though he knows it will poison him‚ÄĒyet he must drink it. And the harlot is so lovely, that though he understands that her ways lead down to Hell‚ÄĒyet like a bullock he follows to the slaughter until the dart goes through his liver!¬†Man is fascinated and bewitched by sin.

Charles H Spurgeon

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; and 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 ‚ÄĒ that what was true of His power in Jeremiah’s time, is as certainly true today ‚ÄĒ and that whatever present¬†hardship¬†may press upon you, or whatever¬†burden¬†may be weighing you down ‚ÄĒ¬†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 ‚ÄĒ but I do know that, whatever its nature ‚ÄĒ cruel, or bitter, or hopeless ‚ÄĒ it is as “nothing” to Him! He is able to deliver you ‚ÄĒ 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: 
  hard 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 till you have¬†one great mountain of afflictions¬†‚ÄĒ 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!”¬†‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ¬†
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 ‚ÄĒ how small 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 ‚ÄĒ do not be cast down by the darkness of its shadow. Your God can either make a way for you¬†through¬†it ‚ÄĒ or He can guide you¬†around¬†it ‚ÄĒ 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!

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 ‚ÄĒ not as unwise but as wise ‚ÄĒ making the most of the time” Ephesians 5:15-16¬†

Our¬†days, as God gives them to us ‚ÄĒ 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¬†‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ 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¬†

Two men look at the same scene:

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Two men look at the same scene:

(J.R. Miller)

“Be joyful always!” 1 Thessalonians 5:16¬†

“In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy!” 2 Corinthians 7:4¬†

Thankfulness or unthankfulness is largely a matter of the attitude of our heart. 
Two men look at the same scene:
 
  one sees the defects and the imperfections; 
  the other sees the beauty and the brightness. 

If you cannot find things to be thankful for today, and¬†every¬†day ‚ÄĒ the fault is in yourself, and you ought to pray for a changed heart ‚ÄĒ a heart to see God’s goodness and to praise Him.¬†

A joyful heart transfigures all the world around us!¬†It finds something to be thankful for in the barest circumstances, even in the dark night of the soul. Let us train ourselves to see the beauty and the goodness in God’s world, and in our own circumstances ‚ÄĒ and then we shall stop grumbling, and be content and thankful in all situations.

“A¬†happy¬†heart makes the face cheerful!” Proverbs 15:13¬†

“The¬†cheerful¬†heart has a continual feast!” Proverbs 15:15¬†

“A¬†cheerful¬†heart¬†is good medicine ‚ÄĒ but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22¬†

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