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The conflagration of the world!

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The conflagration of the world!

(Samuel Davies, “The Universal Judgment!“)

“The present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men. The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything in it will be laid bare!” 2 Peter 3:7, 10¬†

The¬†present¬†state is but the¬†infancy¬†of the world. All the events of time, even those which make such great noise to us, and determine the fate of kingdoms‚ÄĒare but as the¬†trivial games of little children. But if we look forward and trace events to maturity, we meet with vast, significant and majestic events! To one of those scenes I would direct your attention this day; I mean the solemn, tremendous, and glorious scene of the¬†universal judgment!

You have sometimes seen a stately building in ruins; come now, and view the ruins of a demolished world! Come now, and view the whole universe severely laboring and agonizing in her last convulsions, and her well-ordered system dissolved! 

You have heard of earthquakes here and there which have laid huge cities in ruins; come now, and feel the tremors and convulsions of the whole globe, which blend cities and countries, oceans and continents, mountains, plains and valleys‚ÄĒin one giant heap!

You have a thousand times beheld the moon walking in brightness, and the sun shining in its strength; come now, look and see the sun turned into darkness, and the moon into blood! 

It is our lot to live in an age of war, blood, and slaughter; an age in which our attention is engaged by the dubious fate of kingdoms. Draw off your thoughts from these trifling objects for an hour, and fix them on more solemn and vital objects. Come view this dread scene!
“The world alarmed, both earth and heaven o’erthrown,¬†
¬†And gasping nature’s last tremendous groan;¬†
¬†Death’s ancient scepter broke, the teeming tomb,
¬†The Righteous Judge, and man’s eternal doom!”

Let us now enter upon the majestic scene! But alas! what¬†images¬†shall I use to represent it? Nothing that we have ever¬†seen, nothing that we have ever¬†heard, nothing that has ever happened on the¬†stage of time‚ÄĒcan furnish us with proper illustrations. All here is low and groveling‚ÄĒwhen compared with the grand phenomena of that day!

We are so accustomed to trifling earthly objects, that it is impossible that we should ever raise our thoughts to a suitable pitch of elevation. But before long, we shall be¬†amazed spectators¬†of these majestic wonders‚ÄĒand our¬†eyes¬†and our¬†ears¬†will be our instructors!¬†

But it is now necessary we should have such ideas of them‚ÄĒas may affect our hearts, and prepare us for them. Let us therefore present to our view, those representations which divine revelation‚ÄĒour only guide in this case‚ÄĒgive us . . .
of the person of the Judge, and the manner of His appearance; 
of the resurrection of the dead, and the transformation of the living; 
of the universal gathering of all men before the supreme tribunal; 
of their separation to the right and left hand of the Judge, according to their characters; 
of the judicial process itself; 
of the decisive sentence; 
of its execution, 
and of the conflagration of the world!


You will soon end your tedious, tiresome journey!

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You will soon end your tedious, tiresome journey!

(James Smith, “The Believer’s Companion in Seasons of Affliction and Trouble” 1842)

“All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they confessed that they were¬†strangers¬†and¬†pilgrims¬†on the earth!” Hebrews 11:13

Every believer is a¬†pilgrim. He is traveling to his Father’s house! He is presently a¬†stranger¬†in a strange land, surrounded by temptations, trials, and foes. His¬†journey¬†lies through a great and terrible wilderness. Therefore he must not expect a very¬†smooth path, or many comfortable accommodations. He will have much to grieve and distress him. His heart will be often burdened with grief, and filled with sorrow ‚ÄĒ tears are common to the Christian. He feels the¬†unsuitableness¬†of the things of time to his spirit, profession, and aim. And therefore he confesses, “I am a stranger and a pilgrim¬†‚ÄĒ as all my fathers were!” Psalm 39:12

Weariness¬†and¬†painfulness¬†are his portion now ‚ÄĒ but a¬†rest¬†remains for him! It is a¬†glorious¬†rest. It embraces and includes all that the believer has prayed for ‚ÄĒ or can desire!¬†
It waits for him at the end of his journey, 
it was prepared for him from the foundation of the world, 
it is now promised to him in the faithful word, and 
it will be bestowed upon him when he has fought the good fight, and finished his course.

Everything at present may appear gloomy and distressing; but ahead of you, believer, everything is glorious, magnificent, and blessed! Press on then ‚ÄĒ fight the good fight of faith. Travel on in the strength of Jesus!¬†You are going home¬†‚ÄĒ and you have a glorious home to go to!¬†

The minute after you have entered your rest ‚ÄĒ you will forget all the¬†fatigue, all the¬†dangers, and all the¬†difficulties¬†of the way! You will perhaps be filled with wonder, that you should ever have allowed such¬†trifles¬†to vex you, or such little trials to discourage you ‚ÄĒ with such a glorious end before you.¬†

Fellow-pilgrim, expect trouble ‚ÄĒ but also expect mercy to help you in time of need! Expect to feel your circumstances to be trying ‚ÄĒ but also expect your Savior’s strength to be perfected in your weakness!¬†You will soon end your tedious, tiresome journey¬†‚ÄĒ and enter into the joy of your Lord!

Never forget you are now a¬†pilgrim¬†‚ÄĒ a¬†stranger¬†‚ÄĒ only a¬†sojourner¬†here in this poor world. Here you have no continuing city ‚ÄĒ but you seek for one to come.¬†

Nothing can make this poor world your rest ‚ÄĒ it will always be a¬†wilderness¬†to you. Be content then, to¬†wait until you get home!¬†There you shall enjoy ‚ÄĒ and always enjoy, all your desires! There will not be one unfulfilled want, wish, or desire there! All will be satisfied ‚ÄĒ all will be full. In a little while ‚ÄĒ you will see the portal of your Father’s house, and hear Him say, “Come in, you who are blessed of the Lord, tarry no longer outside!¬†Come, dwell forever with Me!”

In that hand which was once nailed to the cross for your redemption!

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In that hand which was once nailed to the cross for your redemption!

(James Smith, “The Believer’s Companion in Seasons of Affliction and Trouble” 1842)

“The Lord¬†disciplines¬†those He¬†loves, and He¬†punishes¬†every one He accepts as a son.” Hebrews 12:6¬†

Afflicted Christian, you are perhaps tempted to think that God cannot love you ‚ÄĒ or He would not so deeply try you. But the reverse is the case ‚ÄĒ if He did¬†not¬†love you, He might perhaps refuse to try you. But because He loves you, and is a Father to you ‚ÄĒ therefore He corrects you.¬†

All of the Lord’s children need correction!¬†Many of them will not grow without very severe discipline ‚ÄĒ consequently your heavenly Father says, “I will¬†melt¬†them, and¬†try¬†them.” “I will turn My hand upon you ‚ÄĒ and will purge away your dross.”

Look to the generations of old, and see if the Lord’s people in every age have not been¬†an afflicted people.¬†Look at Job, at the prophets, at Lazarus; God tenderly loved them ‚ÄĒ and yet how¬†severely¬†He tried them. He has commanded an earthly parent to chasten his son, and not to let his soul spare for his crying ‚ÄĒ and by this rule He also proceeds. He¬†chastens¬†us ‚ÄĒ that He may not¬†destroy¬†us. There is¬†infinite mercy¬†in your present trial ‚ÄĒ as dreadful as it may appear to you. There was an¬†absolute necessity¬†for it ‚ÄĒ for He does not afflict willingly, nor grieve His redeemed children.

He takes pleasure in the spiritual prosperity of His people ‚ÄĒ and therefore He uses¬†means¬†to promote it. He has received you as a son, and He is now . . .
  using His paternal authority; 
  manifesting His infinite wisdom; 
  fulfilling His gracious covenant; 
  making good His precious promises; 
  and displaying His unutterable love!

Every one who is . . .
  adopted into His family; 
  quickened by His grace; 
¬† and united to Jesus ‚ÄĒ¬†
is made to pass under¬†the rod,¬†and prove the truth of the Scripture which says, “Many are the afflictions of the righteous ‚ÄĒ but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”¬†

He chastens you, not for His own pleasure or gratification, but for your profit ‚ÄĒ that you might be a partaker of His holiness. What a¬†gracious design¬†is this ‚ÄĒ every way worthy of God. It affords full proof of His infinite wisdom, care, and love!

Think within yourself:
I could not do without this affliction;
it is sent in love; 
it is intended to do me good; 
it is a proof that I am a child of God
¬†‚ÄĒ and you will then think rightly.¬†

Do not despise the chastening of the Lord, by thinking that you could have done as well without it; or that there was no necessity for it. Depend upon it, you must either be . . .
¬† pained ‚ÄĒ or ruined;¬†
¬† tried ‚ÄĒ or injured;¬†
¬† corrected ‚ÄĒ or lost.¬†

Do not¬†faint¬†when the Lord rebukes you. He has promised you, that as your¬†day¬†is ‚ÄĒ so shall your¬†strength¬†be. He says to you, “Do not fear ‚ÄĒ for I am with you; do not be afraid ‚ÄĒ for I am your God. I will¬†strengthen¬†you; I will¬†help¬†you; I will¬†uphold¬†you with My righteous right hand!” Isaiah 41:10. Precious promise of a faithful God! He made it in love. He has not forgotten it ‚ÄĒ no, He intends to make it good. Yes, He is now making it good to you ‚ÄĒ as tried and afflicted as you are.¬†

The rod which afflicts you, is in the hand of Jesus!¬†In that hand which was once nailed to the cross for your redemption!¬†In the hand of that¬†Friend¬†who¬†loves¬†at all times; and who is a¬†Brother¬†born for adversity. Will Jesus who suffered, bled, and died to redeem you ‚ÄĒ ever¬†hurt¬†you? Surely not! His heart is too tender! His love is too great! “He will not break the bruised reed ‚ÄĒ and He will not quench the smoking flax!” He will bind up the broken heart, and comfort the sorrowful spirit.¬†

You say, “He is sorely trying me!” True ‚ÄĒ but He is only making you fit to partake of the inheritance of the saints in light. They are . . .
  loving strokes, 
  valuable trials, 
  blessed afflictions!
As¬†sharp¬†they may be ‚ÄĒ¬†short¬†they must be.¬†

Humble yourself then under the mighty hand of God; 
mourn before Him; 
surrender all to Him;
plead with Him; 
justify Him ‚ÄĒ and . . .
   the rod will soon fall from His hand, 
   the scourging will soon be over, and 
   peaceable fruits of righteousness will make their appearance. 

Look up to your God, and say:

Submissive to Your will, my God, 
I all to you resign;
I bow before Your chastening rod, 
And mourn, but not repine!

Why should my foolish heart complain,
When wisdom, truth, and love,
Direct the stroke, inflict the pain,
And point to joys above?

How short are all my sufferings here!
How needful every cross! 
Away then, my unbelieving fear,
Nor call my gain, my loss.

What is man ‚ÄĒ that You are mindful of him?

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What is man ‚ÄĒ that You are mindful of him?

(Hugh Brown, “Altogether Lovely!” 1897)

What is man ‚ÄĒ that You are mindful of him?” Psalm 8:4¬†

What is man? 

Where did he come from? 

Where does his pathway lead? 

Man¬†was¬†once¬†the crowning piece of God’s workmanship, made in His own image, and given dominion over the works of His hands!

Alas! We now only know man . . .
¬† in his¬†fallen¬†state ‚ÄĒ not as God created him,¬†
  with the crown fallen from his head, 
  as a rebel against his Maker, 
  as the slave of sin, 
  as a willing subject of Satan, 
  in his weakness,
  compassed with infirmity,
  the prey of many diseases, 
¬† as “of few days, and full of trouble,”¬†
  as a bearer of burdens,
  with a heritage of sorrow!

So fearfully and wonderfully is man made ‚ÄĒ¬†¬†
¬† so great ‚ÄĒ and yet so little;¬†
¬† so noble ‚ÄĒ yet so base;¬†
¬† a feeble spark of life ‚ÄĒ yet having an eternal destiny!¬†

We now only know man . . .
  in his sinfulness, 
¬† with a “heart deceitful above all things ‚ÄĒ and desperately wicked,”¬†
  torn by conflicting passions, 
  in the vile bondage of iniquity,
  sin reigning within and without, 
  proud, 
  arrogant,
  self-seeking,
  vain,
  making the earth a habitation of cruelty!

For though sometimes in his youth, life may seem bright while he eagerly hunts after pleasure ‚ÄĒ how soon the¬†flowers fade, the¬†bubble bursts¬†‚ÄĒ and he is left with emptiness in his heart and learns by sad experience the truth of God‚Äôs Word:¬†“Truly, every man at his best estate is altogether vanity!”¬†

The annals of hell‚ÄĒor the biography of devils!

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The annals of hell‚ÄĒor the biography of devils!

(Samuel Davies, “The Universal Judgment!”)

Though we are too apt to think that we are not accountable for our¬†words‚ÄĒHe who is to be our Judge, has plainly told us that “for¬†every careless word¬†which men speak, they shall give an account in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36

“For God will bring every deed¬†into judgment, including¬†every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14

What astonishing discoveries will this trial of every hidden thing make! 

On the one hand‚ÄĒwhat¬†noble dispositions¬†which never shone in full beauty to mortal eyes! What¬†generous purposes¬†crushed in embryo for lack of power to execute them! What¬†pious and noble actions¬†concealed under the veil of modesty, or misconstrued by ignorance and prejudice! What¬†affectionate aspirations, what¬†devout exercises of heart, which lay open only to the¬†eyes of Omniscience, are now brought to full light, and receive the approbation of the Supreme Judge before the assembled universe”!

But on the other hand‚ÄĒwhat works of¬†shame¬†and¬†darkness¬†are then revealed! What hidden things of dishonesty! What dire secrets of treachery, hypocrisy, lewdness, and various forms of wickedness‚ÄĒall artfully and industriously concealed from human sight! What horrid exploits of sin now burst to light in all their hellish colors‚ÄĒto the confusion of the guilty, and the astonishment and horror of the universe!

Surely the¬†history of mankind¬†must then appear like¬†the annals of hell‚ÄĒor the biography of devils!¬†Then the¬†mask of deceit¬†will be torn off‚ÄĒand men¬†will appear in their true characters. Their hearts will be, as it were, turned outwards‚ÄĒand all their¬†secrets¬†exposed to full view!

The design of this judicial inquiry will not be to inform the omniscient Judge‚ÄĒbut to convince all worlds of the justice of His proceedings. And this design renders it necessary that all these ‘secret things’ should be laid open to their sight, that they may see the grounds upon which He passes sentence.

Does not the prospect of such a ‘revealing’ fill some of you with horror? For many of your actions, and especially of your¬†thoughts‚ÄĒwill not bear the light. How would it confound you, if all your secret thoughts were now all published, even in the small circle of your friends! How then, can you bear to have them all fully exposed before God, angels, and the universe! Will it not confound you with shame, and make you¬†objects of everlasting contempt¬†to all worlds!

A most influential sermon!

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A most influential sermon!

(James Smith, “Good News for All” 1860)

“You, however, know all about my teaching,¬†my way of life,
 and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my
¬†patience, my love, and my endurance.” 2 Timothy 3:10¬†

A holy life is a most influential sermon!

“You ought to live holy and godly lives!” 2 Peter 3:11

See the cause of my happiness

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See the cause of my happiness

(James Smith, “My Savior!” 1860)

My soul, meditate for a few moments on what Jesus¬†is¬†to you, and what Jesus has¬†done¬†for you. Look back and glance at the¬†circumstances¬†in which He found you ‚ÄĒ and the¬†deliverance¬†which He wrought for you.

1. The¬†circumstances¬†in which Jesus found you.¬†Jesus found me¬†out of the way. God by His law had marked out a way in which His creatures should walk ‚ÄĒ its character was holiness, and its end His glory. But all we like sheep had gone astray, we had turned every one to his own way. We were in the path of death and destruction, and on the way to Hell.¬†

We were not only out of the way ‚ÄĒ but we were¬†enslaved. We were . . .
  slaves of sin,
  the drudges of the world, and
  led captive by the Devil at his will. 

We were¬†diseased¬†‚ÄĒ as well as enslaved. We were¬†leprous¬†from head to foot. We had the¬†plague of the heart!¬†The whole head was sick, and the whole heart was faint.¬†

We were¬†imprisoned, as well as diseased. We were shut up in unbelief and sin. Our cell was cold and damp, dark and narrow ‚ÄĒ and our imprisonment was not merely for a few years ‚ÄĒ it was forever!¬†

We were dead, though still conscious, and to some things alive. Dead in trespasses and sins. 

In this state we were ‚ÄĒ and we loved it well. We neither desired, nor sought deliverance.¬†Left to ourselves¬†. . .
  we would have wandered on in darkness, until we had perished in our sins; 
  we would have continued the slaves of sin and Satan forever;
  our disease would have preyed upon our vitals to all eternity; 
  our prison walls would have enclosed us still; 
  we would have remained dead in sin, 
  we would have suffered all the pangs of damnation forever!

2. The deliverance which Jesus wrought for you. Jesus saved me!

He saved me from the roaring lion, who goes about seeking to devour me!

He saved me from my raging lusts, so that sin shall not have dominion over me!

He saved me from righteous wrath, and I, being justified by His blood, shall be saved from wrath through Him!

He saved me from¬†death, the ‘king of terrors,’ depriving the¬†monster¬†of his sting, and giving me the victory over him!

He has also saved me from the¬†flaming furnace of Hell¬†‚ÄĒ from that lake of fire, and those¬†floods of flame¬†in which the lost must welter forever!

See the cause of my happiness¬†‚ÄĒ¬†
I have a Savior! 

A Savior who is divine. 
A Savior who has ever loved me. 
A Savior who lived, labored, and died for me. 
A Savior who pleads for me before the throne of His Father. 
A Savior who is in His Father’s house, preparing a place for me.¬†
A Savior who will soon come and receive me to Himself, that so I may be forever with Him! Yes, I have a Savior ‚ÄĒ one who . . .
  watches over me, 
  walks through the wilderness with me, 
  and rejoices to do me good.

Reader, have you a Savior? 
Can you use these two precious words,¬†“My Savior”?¬†
Have you realized that you were lost? 
Have you fled to His cross? 
Have you fallen into His arms? 
Have you been cleansed by His blood, and clothed in His righteousness? 
Do you possess His Holy Spirit? 

Make sure work, O make sure work!
Eternity is just at hand!
Death is coming!
Judgment follows!
And then ‚ÄĒ an¬†eternity of happiness or woe!
Your eternal all depends on having Jesus for your Savior!
No one can save you but Jesus. 
No one can . . .
  support you in sickness,
  comfort you in death, or
¬† give you victory over the grave ‚ÄĒ but Jesus!

“How long will you love vanity?”

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How long will you love vanity?” Psalm 4:2

Vanity represents the light, changeable, carnal, and fading things of time. Upon these things, the natural heart is set; around them, the unsanctified affections gather. What a vanity it is to prefer . . . 
¬† human friendship ‚ÄĒ to divine friendship,¬†
¬† earthly riches ‚ÄĒ to Heavenly riches,¬†
¬† carnal honors ‚ÄĒ to spiritual honors, and¬†
¬† the pleasures of a day ‚ÄĒ to the joys of eternity!

Vanity appears in the intoxicating cup, the mirthful and costly attire, and trifling with God. Surely every worldly man walks in a vain show, like an¬†actor¬†on the stage ‚ÄĒ and displays the most consummate folly!¬†

Reader! are you in love with vanity? Do you love that which leads from God, keeps Him out of the thoughts, and binds you down to earth? This is vanity! How long will you love it? You have been doing so for years ‚ÄĒ though warned, convinced, and having promised to reform. You are doing so now, though . . .
   mortality is at work within you,   
   death is very near you, 
   Hell is open before you, and 
   eternity is within a step of you!

You love vanity, when you may . . .
   obtain divine mercy, 
   enjoy peace with God, 
   receive sanctifying grace, and 
   walk in the way to Heaven. 

“How long will you love vanity?”¬†Until . . .¬†
   some sudden stroke takes you away; 
   or some affliction puts you beyond the reach of mercy;
¬†¬† or God’s Spirit ceases to strive with you;¬†
   or Satan fills your heart as he did the heart of Judas; 
   or God laughs at your calamity? 

How long? God your Creator would ask you.¬†“Why will you die?”¬†

Will you carefully consider this question, and give the Lord an answer? Will you tell Him why you prefer . . .
¬†¬† eternal death ‚ÄĒ to eternal life,¬†
¬†¬† sin ‚ÄĒ to holiness, and¬†
¬†¬† Satan ‚ÄĒ to Himself?

“They who observe lying vanities, forsake their own mercy!” Jonah 2:8

If you dare!

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If you dare!

(Samuel Davies, “The Universal Judgment!“)

“Then I saw¬†a great white throne‚ÄĒand HIM who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened¬† . . . If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life‚ÄĒhe was thrown into the lake of fire!” Revelation 20:11, 12, 15

What an astonishing scene is this! The stable earth and sky cannot bear the majesty and terror of His look; they fly away affrighted! This is the Judge before whom we must stand; and this is the manner of His appearance!

But is this the¬†babe of Bethlehem‚ÄĒwho lay and wept in the manger?¬†

Is this the supposed son of the carpenter, the despised Galilean? 

Is this the man of sorrows? 

Is this He who was . . .
  arrested, 
  condemned, 
  buffeted, 
  spit upon,  
  crowned with thorns, 
  executed as a slave and a criminal, upon the cross? 

Yes, it is Him! The very same Jesus of Nazareth! 

But oh how changed! How deservedly exalted! Heaven and earth flee before Him! 

Now let his enemies appear and show their contempt and malignity!

Now,¬†Pilate‚ÄĒcondemn the King of the Jews as a usurper!

Now, you¬†Jews, raise the clamor,¬†“Crucify Him, crucify Him!”¬†Now bow the knee in scorn, spit in His face, and buffet Him! Now tell the¬†scourged impostor¬†that He must die!

Now despise His grace, 
now laugh at His threatenings, and 
now make light of His displeasure‚ÄĒif you dare!

Ah! now their courage fails, and terror surrounds them! Now they try to hide in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. Now they call to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from¬†the wrath of the Lamb!¬†For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

But, alas! That LAMB who once bled as a sacrifice for sin‚ÄĒnow appears in all the terrors of a LION! Oh! could they hide themselves in the bottom of the ocean, or in some rock that bears the weight of the mountains‚ÄĒhow happy would they think themselves!

Where shall you find a rock?

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Where shall you find a rock? 

(Samuel Davies, “Jesus Christ, the Only Foundation” 1757)

“The present¬†heavens¬†and¬†earth¬†are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of ungodly men! The day of the Lord will come like a thief. The¬†heavens¬†will disappear with a roar; the¬†elements¬†will be destroyed by fire, and the¬†earth¬†and everything in it will be burned up!” 2 Peter 3:7, 10

The fiery deluge of divine vengeance, which has been gathering and swelling for thousands of years; but has been, as it were, restrained and kept within bounds by¬†divine patience‚ÄĒshall then rise so high as to burst through all restraints, and overwhelm the guilty globe, and turn it into a universal ocean of liquid fire! This resistless torrent shall sweep away all the¬†refuges of lies, and those who trusted in them‚ÄĒinto the gulf of remediless destruction!

Well my friends, where shall we find a¬†support¬†to bear us up in this tremendous day? Where shall we find a¬†rock¬†to build upon, that we may be able to stand the shock, and remain safe and unmoved‚ÄĒin the wreck of dissolving worlds? What can¬†uphold¬†us‚ÄĒwhen this¬†vast machine of our world, formed with so much skill and strength by the hands of a¬†divine Architect, shall be broken up and fall to pieces?

Now, now is the time for us to find the refuge; it will be too late when all created supports are swept away, and this solid globe itself is dissolved beneath our feet into a sea of fire!

And where will you look? Where will you turn? This¬†earth,¬†and all its riches, honors, and pleasures‚ÄĒwill prove to be but a¬†quicksand¬†in that day! Your¬†friends¬†and¬†relations, were they ever so great or powerful‚ÄĒcan¬†then¬†afford you no support! Therefore, think‚ÄĒwhere shall you find a¬†rock¬†on which you may build a happiness that will stand the shock in that dreadful day?

Everything else besides Christ . . .
  is sliding sand,
  is yielding air,
  is a breaking bubble! 

In that dread day . . .
¬†¬†wealth‚ÄĒwill prove to be a vain shadow,¬†
¬†¬†honor‚ÄĒwill prove to be an empty breath,¬†
¬†¬†pleasure‚ÄĒwill prove to be a delusive dream,¬†
¬†¬†your own righteousness‚ÄĒwill prove to be a spider’s web!
If we rely on these, disappointment and doom are inevitable!

Nothing but Christ, nothing but Christ, can stably support us in that dread day! “He alone is my rock¬†and my salvation; He is my fortress‚ÄĒI will never be shaken!” Psalm 62:2

His righteousness¬†is infinitely perfect, equal to the highest demands of the divine law‚ÄĒand therefore a firm, immovable ground of trust. We may safely venture¬†the weight of our eternal all‚ÄĒupon this rock! It will stand forever, without giving way under the heaviest pressure; without being broken by the most violent shock. Let thousands, let millions, with¬†all the mountainous weight of guilt¬†upon them, build upon this foundation, and they shall never be moved!

The firm foundations, the stately columns, the majestic buildings of Nineveh, Babylon and Persia, and all the magnificent structures of antiquity, though formed of the most durable stone, and promising immortality‚ÄĒare now shattered into ten thousand fragments, or lying in ruinous heaps!¬†

But here in Christ‚ÄĒis¬†a foundation for immortal souls‚ÄĒa foundation that will remain the same to all eternity! His¬†righteousness¬†is an everlasting righteousness, His¬†strength¬†an everlasting strength, and Himself the everlasting Father. He ever lives forever to make intercession for His people, and therefore he is able to save to the uttermost, to the uttermost point of duration‚ÄĒall who come unto God by Him!

Millions and millions¬†of depraved, wretched, ruined creatures, have always found Him perfectly¬†able, and as perfectly¬†willing‚ÄĒ
  to expiate the most enormous guilt;
  to deliver from the most inveterate corruptions;
  and to save to the very uttermost! 

Ten thousand times ten thousand, have built their hopes upon this¬†rock‚ÄĒand it has never failed so much as one of them! Manasseh, Paul, and Mary Magdalen, and thousands more atrocious sinners‚ÄĒhave ventured upon this¬†all-sufficient rock¬†with all their¬†load of sin¬†upon them, and found it able to sustain them!

Carry all your concerns to Him‚ÄĒin the arms of faith!

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Carry all your concerns to Him‚ÄĒin the¬†arms of faith!

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

“Casting all your care upon Him‚ÄĒbecause¬†He cares for you!” 1 Peter 5:7

The Lord¬†knows¬†all His people‚ÄĒall their needs, and all their trials.

He¬†thinks¬†upon them‚ÄĒto bless, deliver and supply them.¬†

He keeps His¬†eye¬†upon them‚ÄĒin all places, at all times, and under all circumstances.

He has them in His¬†hand‚ÄĒand will not loosen His hold.

He looks upon them always as His own ‘treasured possession’ . . .
  the objects of His eternal love,
¬† the purchase of His Son’s blood,
  the temples of His Holy Spirit.

They are precious in His sight! 

He knows they are¬†weak¬†and¬†fearful‚ÄĒand that they have many¬†enemies. He teaches them to cast themselves and all their cares into His hands! And He has given them His promise‚ÄĒthat He¬†will¬†care for them.

It is a¬†Father’s care¬†which He exercises. It is a wise, holy, tender, and constant care. Therefore all will be well with you‚ÄĒonly trust Him.

Believe that He cares for you this day.¬†Carry all your concerns to Him‚ÄĒin the¬†arms of faith!¬†Leave¬†all¬†with Him, persuaded that He will manage all by His infinite wisdom, and bring all to a good outcome by His omnipotent power.

Cast all your cares upon Him‚ÄĒas fast as they come in.¬†

Do not worry about anything. 

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will support you! He will never allow the righteous to be shaken!” Psalm 55:22

Yay….11th Wedding Anniversary & The Marriage Altar‚ÄĒand After

Yay…..It’s Our 11th Wedding anniversary!!

Hi all…..Today is a really long post as it’s a special day for Sarah & i. I really hope you read through to the end and be blessed! 

Ephesians 5:25-27 The Voice (VOICE)

Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love the Anointed One has for His bride, the church. We know He gave Himself up completely to make her His own, washing her clean of all her impurity with water and the powerful presence of His word. He has given Himself so that He can present the church as His radiant bride, unstained, unwrinkled, and unblemished‚ÄĒcompletely free from all impurity‚ÄĒholy and innocent before Him.

My Thoughts…

Each time our wedding anniversary comes round, i can‚Äôt believe how much our marriage has grown more and more fruitful. Our love keeps blossoming through every season and i thank God for Sarah who is not only my best friend, but my amazing wife! ūüôā¬†

I thank God for sustaining our marriage in Purity and Truth. 

I thank God for not leaving us alone to figure out what to do, but for giving us, teaching, correction, training and a perfect Holy example to follow through the Holy Spirit…to reflect the personal and intimate union between Christ and His Church. The mystery of marriage is its reflection of the oneness of Christ, the Husband, and His Church, the Bride of Christ.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Amplified Bible

Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].

Love never fails…

Sarah i wedding photo

Sarah on wedding day png1

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The Marriage Altar‚ÄĒand After

J. R. Miller, 1880

preparations are all at last made. The bridal dress is completed. The day has been fixed. The invitations have been sent out. The hour comes. Two young hearts are throbbing with love and joy. A brilliant company, music, flowers, a solemn hush‚ÄĒas the happy pair approach the altar, the repetition of the sacred words of the marriage ceremony, the clasping of hands, the mutual covenants and promises, the giving and receiving of the ring, the final “Whom God has joined together‚ÄĒlet not man put asunder,” the prayer and blessing‚ÄĒand the¬†twain are one flesh. There are tears and congratulations, hurried good-byes, and a new bark puts out upon the sea, freighted with high hopes. God grant it may never be¬†dashed upon any hidden rock¬†and wrecked!

Marriage is very like the bringing together of two instruments of music. The first thing, is to get them keyed to the same pitch. Before a concert begins you hear the musicians striking chords and keying their instruments, until at length they all perfectly accord. Then they come out and play some rare piece of music, without a discord or a jar in any of its parts.

No two lives, however thorough their former acquaintance may have been, however long they may have moved together in society or mingled in the closer and more intimate relations of a ripening friendship, ever find themselves¬†perfectly in harmony¬†on their marriage-day. It is only when that¬†mysterious blending¬†begins after marriage, which no language can explain‚ÄĒthat each finds so much in the other that was never discovered before. There are¬†beauties¬†and¬†excellences¬†that were never disclosed, even to¬†love’s partial eye, in all the days of familiar intimacy. There are¬†peculiarities¬†and¬†blemishes¬†which were never seen to exist‚ÄĒuntil they began to make themselves manifest within the veil of the matrimonial temple. There are¬†incompatibilities¬†that were never dreamed of‚ÄĒuntil they were revealed in the abrasions of domestic life. There are¬†faults¬†which neither even suspected, in the temper and habits of the other!

Before marriage young people are on their good behavior. They do not¬†exhibit their infirmities.¬†Selfishness¬†is hidden under garments of courtesy and gallantry. Each forgets¬†SELF‚ÄĒin romantic devotion to the other. The voice is softened and made tender, and even tremulous, by¬†love. The music flows with a holy rhythm mellowed by affection’s gentleness. Everything that would make an unfavorable impression, is scrupulously put under lock and key. So there is harmony of no ordinary sweetness made by the two young lives, unvexed by one discordant note.

Marriage is a¬†great mystery. “The¬†twain¬†shall be¬†one¬†flesh” is no mere figure of speech. Years of closest, most familiar, most unrestrained intimacy, bring lives very close together‚ÄĒbut there is still a¬†separating wall¬†which marriage breaks down. The two lives become one. Each opens every nook, every chamber, every cranny, to the other. There is a mutual interflow, life pouring into life.

There may have been no intention on the part of either, to deceive the other in the smallest matter, or to cloak the smallest infirmity. But the disclosure could not, in the very nature of things, have been any more perfect. Each stood in the porch of a house, or at the most sat in its parlor, never entering any of the inner rooms. Now the whole house is thrown open, and many hitherto unsuspected things are seen!

Too often the¬†restraint¬†seems to fall off, when the¬†matrimonial chain¬†is riveted. No effort is longer made to curb the bad tempers and evil propensities. The delicate robe of politeness is torn away, and many a rudeness appears. It seems to be considered no longer necessary, to continue the old thoughtfulness.¬†Selfishness¬†begins to assert itself. The¬†sweet amenities¬†of the wooing-days are laid aside‚ÄĒand the result is unhappiness! Many a young bride cries herself sick half a dozen times, before she has been a month a bride, and wishes she were back in the bright, happy home of her youth! Oftentimes both the newly-wedded pair become discouraged, and think in their hearts that they have made a mistake!

And yet there is really no reason for discouragement. The marriage may yet be made happy. There is need only for large and wise patience. The two lives require only to be brought into harmony, and¬†love’s sweetest music¬†will flow from two hearts in tender unison. But there are several rules which must always be remembered and observed.

Why, for instance, should either party, after the wedding-day, cease to observe all the sweet courtesies, little refinements and charming amenities of the courtship-days? Why should a man be¬†polite¬†all day to everyone he meets‚ÄĒeven to the porter in his store, and the bootblack or newsboy on the street‚ÄĒand then less polite to her who meets him at his door with yearning heart hungry for expressions of love? If things have gone wrong with him all day, why should he carry his gloom to his home to darken the joy of his wife’s tender heart? Or why should the woman who used to be all smiles and beauty and adornment and perfume when her lover came, meet her husband now with disheveled hair, soiled dress, slovenly manner and¬†face all frowns? Why should there not be a resolute continuance of the old politeness and mutual desire to please‚ÄĒwhich made the wooing-days so sunny?

Then love must be lifted up out of the realm of the¬†passions¬†and¬†senses‚ÄĒand be spiritualized. There should be converse on the¬†higher themes¬†of life. Many people are¬†wedded¬†only at one or two points. Their natures know but the lower forms of pleasure and fellowship. They never commune on any topic, but the most earthy. Their¬†intellectual¬†parts have no fellowship. They never read nor converse together on elevated themes. There is no commingling of mind with mind; they are dead to each other, in that higher region.¬†

Then still fewer are¬†wedded¬†in their highest, their spiritual natures. The number is small, of those who commune together concerning the things of God, the soul’s holiest interests and the realities of eternity. No marriage is complete‚ÄĒwhich does not unite and blend the wedded lives at every point. Husband and wife should be wedded along their whole nature.

This implies that they should read and study together, having the same line of thought, helping each other toward higher mental culture. It implies also that they should worship together, communing with one another upon the holiest themes of life and hope. Together they should bow in prayer, and together work in anticipation of the same blessed home beyond this life of toil and care. I can conceive of no true and perfect marriage, whose deepest joy does not lie forward in the life to come.

Perfect¬†mutual confidence¬†is an element of every complete marriage. Husband and wife should¬†live but one life, sharing all of each other’s cares, joys, sorrows and hopes. There should not be a corner in the nature and occupation of either‚ÄĒwhich is not open to the other. The moment a man has to begin to shut his wife out from any¬†chapters of his daily life¬†he is in peril; and in like manner her whole life should be open to him. There should be a flowing together of heart and soul in close communion and perfect confidence. No discord can end in harm‚ÄĒwhile there is such mutual inter-sphering of lives and such inter-flowing of souls.

Once more, no third party should ever be taken into this holy of holies. No matter who it is‚ÄĒthe sweetest, gentlest, dearest, wisest mother; the purest, truest, tenderest sister; the best, the loyalest friend‚ÄĒno one but¬†God¬†should ever be permitted to know anything of the secret, sacred married life, that they twain are living. This is one of those relations with which no stranger, though he be the closest bosom friend, should intermeddle. Any¬†alien touch¬†is sure to leave a blight.

There are certain¬†influences¬†that bring out all the warmth and tenderness needed to make any marriage very happy. When one is sick, how gentle and thoughtful it makes the other! Not a want or wish is left unsupplied. All the heart’s affections‚ÄĒlong slumbering, perhaps‚ÄĒare awakened and become intent on most kindly ministry. No service is thought a hardship now, or done with any show of reluctance. There is not a breath or look of impatience. Love flows out in¬†tone¬†and¬†look¬†and¬†word¬†and¬†act. There is an¬†inexpressible tenderness¬†in all the bearing. Even the coldest natures become gentle in the sick-room, and the rudest, harshest manners become soft and warm at the¬†touch of suffering¬†in the beloved one.¬†

Or let death come to either, and what an awakening there is of all that is holiest and tenderest and sweetest in the heart of the other! If the dead could be recalled and the wedded life resumed, would it not be a thousand times more loving than ever it was before? Would there be any more the old¬†impatience, the old¬†selfishness? Would there not be the fullest sympathy, the largest forbearance, the warmest outflow of the heart’s most kindly feelings?

And why may not married life be lived day by day, under the power of this wondrous influence? Why wait for¬†suffering¬†in the one we love‚ÄĒto¬†thaw out the heart’s tenderness, to melt the icy chill of neglect and indifference, and to produce in us the summer fruits of affection? Why wait for¬†death¬†to come‚ÄĒto reveal the beauty of the plain life that moves by our side, and disclose the value of the blessings it enfolds for us? Why should we only learn to appreciate and prize love’s splendors and its sweetness‚ÄĒas it vanishes out of our sight?¬†

Why should the¬†empty chair‚ÄĒbe the first revealer of the real worth of those who have walked so close to us? Why should sorrow over our loss‚ÄĒbe the first influence to draw from our hearts, the tenderness and the wealth of kindly ministries that lie pent up in them all the while? Surely, wedded life should call out all that is richest, truest, tenderest, most inspiring and most helpful in the life of each. This is the¬†true ideal¬†of Christian marriage. Its love is to be like that of Christ and his Church. It should not wait for the¬†agony of suffering¬†or the¬†pang of separation¬†to draw out its tenderness‚ÄĒbut should fill all its days and nights with¬†unvexed sweetness!

There are many such marriages. Few more beautiful pictures of wedded love were ever unveiled, than that which was lived out in the home of Charles Kingsley. His wife closes her loving memoir with these words, “The outside world must judge him as an author, a preacher, a member of society‚ÄĒbut those only who lived with him in the intimacy of every-day life at home‚ÄĒcan tell what he was as a man. Over the real romance of his life, and over the tenderest, loveliest passages in his private letters‚ÄĒa veil must be thrown‚ÄĒbut it will not be lifting it too far to say that if in the highest, closest of earthly relationships, a love that never failed‚ÄĒpure, patient, passionate‚ÄĒfor thirty-six years‚ÄĒa love which never stooped from its own lofty level‚ÄĒto a hasty word, an impatient gesture or a selfish act, in sickness or in health, in sunshine or in storm, by day or by night, could prove that the age of chivalry has not passed away forever‚ÄĒthen Charles Kingsley fulfilled the ideal of a ‘most true and perfect knight’ to the one woman blessed with that love in time, and to eternity. To eternity, for such love is eternal, and he is not dead. He himself, the man, the lover, husband, father, friend‚ÄĒhe still lives in God, who is not the God of the dead‚ÄĒbut of the living.”¬†

And why should, not every marriage in Christ, realize all that lies in this picture? It is possible, and yet only noble manhood and womanhood, with truest views of marriage and inspired by the holiest love, can realize it.

Sarah & i in Love Heart

Should it be according to your mind?

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Should it be according to your mind?

(James Smith, “Important Questions!” 1858)

Should it be according to¬†your¬†mind?” Job 34:33

We are prone to be fretful, to complain of the dispensations of Divine Providence, and to reflect harshly upon the Lord’s dealings with us.

We want our own way.

We wish to carve for ourselves.

We would be treated as God’s favorites.

We want our ease, and prosperity, and pleasure, consulted in all things. And if this does not appear to be done ‚ÄĒ if our¬†wills¬†are crossed, if our¬†schemes¬†are frustrated, if our¬†purposes¬†are broken off ‚ÄĒ then we stumble, think ourselves badly treated, and look for everybody to sympathize with us.

Under these circumstances, God comes to us ‚ÄĒ as we sit among our broken cisterns, surrounded by our dethroned idols ‚ÄĒ and puts this question to us: “Should it be according to¬†your¬†mind?”

Are you wiser than God?

Are you kinder than God?

Are you holier than God?

Are you more just than God?

Are you better informed than God?

May not your mind be dark, or selfish, or foolish?

Should it then be according to your mind?

Should you¬†reign¬†‚ÄĒ or God?

Remember that God acts in the highest wisdom; His motives are grace and justice; and all His purposes are worthy of Himself.

The least the Christian can do is to submit ‚ÄĒ and to prefer God’s wisdom, way, and work ‚ÄĒ to his own. Seeing God has so arranged all events, that all things must work together for the good of His people ‚ÄĒ they, at least, should daily say, “Father, may¬†Your¬†will be done!”

O my soul, seek grace from God, not only to submit and be resigned to the dispensations of Divine Providence ‚ÄĒ but to¬†acquiesce¬†in them, and be¬†pleased¬†with the whole of them! Your good is consulted ‚ÄĒ your best interests are secured; and soon, very soon, it will be seen that infinite wisdom and mercy, grace and goodness, have marked out¬†every step¬†of your road!

“Jesus replied: You do not understand what I am¬†now¬†doing ‚ÄĒ but someday you will.” John 13:7

Your conscience will not always sleep!

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Your conscience will not always sleep! 

(Samuel Davies, “Divine Mercy to Mourning Penitents“)

“They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their¬†consciences¬†also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.” Romans 2:15

The principal means which God uses in conversion, is that of conscience; and indeed without this, all the rest are in vain. Outward afflictions are of service‚ÄĒonly as they tend to awaken the conscience from its lethargy to a faithful discharge of its duty. It is conscience which makes the sinner sensible of his misery and scourges him. The¬†lashes of a guilty conscience¬†are intolerable; and some under them have chosen strangling and suicide, rather than life.

Conscience is a serpent in his breast, which bites and gnaws his heart; and he can no more avoid it, than he can fly from himself! 

Let not such of you as have never been tortured with its remorse, congratulate yourselves upon your happiness, for you are not innocents! Your conscience will not always sleep! It will not always lie torpid and inactive, like a snake benumbed with cold, in your breast! 

It will¬†awaken¬†you either to your conversion‚ÄĒor condemnation!

Either the fire of God’s wrath flaming from His law will enliven it in this world‚ÄĒto sting you with¬†medicinal¬†anguish; or the unquenchable fire of His vengeance in the lake of fire and brimstone will thaw it into life‚ÄĒand then it will horribly rage in your breast, and diffuse its tormenting poison through your whole frame! And then it will become a¬†never-dying worm, and prey upon your hearts forever!

Who is this amazing spectacle of woe and torture?

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Who is this amazing spectacle of woe and torture?

(Samuel Davies, “The Preaching of Christ Crucified, the Means of Salvation”)

“Christ died for the ungodly!” Romans 5:6

In¬†the cross of Christ‚ÄĒGod’s hatred to sin¬†is manifested in the most striking light! The evil of sin is exposed in the most dreadful colors! Now it appears, that such is the divine hatred against all sin, that God can by no means forgive sin, without punishment; and that all the infinite benevolence of His nature towards His creatures cannot prevail upon Him to pardon the least sin‚ÄĒwithout an adequate satisfaction.

Nay, now it appears that when so malignant and abominable a thing is but imputed to His dear Son, His co-equal, His darling, His favorite‚ÄĒthat even He could not escape unpunished‚ÄĒbut was made a¬†monument of vindictive justice, to all worlds!¬†

What can more strongly expose the evil of sin
‚ÄĒthan the cross of Christ?¬†
Sin is such an intolerably malignant and abominable thing, that even a God of infinite mercy and grace‚ÄĒcannot let the least instance of it pass unpunished!

It was not a small thing that could arm God’s justice against the Son of His love. Though He was perfectly innocent in Himself‚ÄĒyet when He was made sin for us‚ÄĒGod spared not His own Son‚ÄĒbut delivered Him up unto death‚ÄĒthe shameful, tormenting, and accursed death of the cross!

Go, you fools, who make a mock at sin! Go and learn its malignity and demerit‚ÄĒat the cross of Jesus!¬†

WHO is it that hangs there writhing in the agonies of death
‚ÄĒHis hands and feet pierced with nails, His side with a spear, His face bruised with blows, and drenched with tears and blood, His heart melting like wax, His whole frame racked and disjointed; forsaken by His friends, and even by His Father; tempted by devils, and insulted by men?¬†Who is this amazing spectacle of woe and torture?¬†It is Jesus, the eternal Word of God; His Elect, in whom His soul delights; His beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased!

And WHAT has He done?¬†He did no wickedness; He knew no sin‚ÄĒbut was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. And WHY then, all these dreadful sufferings from heaven, earth, and hell? Why, He only stood in the law-place of sinners; He only received their sin by imputation. And you see what it has brought upon Him! You see how low it has reduced Him! What a horrid evil must that be‚ÄĒwhich has such tremendous consequences, even upon the Darling of heaven!

Oh! what still more dreadful havoc would SIN have made, if it had been punished upon the sinner himself in his own person! Surely all the various miseries which have been inflicted upon our guilty world in all ages, and even all the punishments of hell‚ÄĒdo not so loudly proclaim the terrible desert and malignity of sin‚ÄĒas the cross of Christ!

The infinite malignity of sin, and God’s hatred to it, appear nowhere in so striking and dreadful a light‚ÄĒas in the cross of Christ! Let a reasonable creature take but one serious view of that cross, and surely he must ever after tremble at the thought of the least sin!¬†

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The unsearchable riches of Christ!

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The unsearchable riches of Christ!

(Samuel Davies)

The unsearchable riches of Christ!” Ephesians 3:8

Consider what rich blessings Christ has purchased for His people; purchased not with corruptible things such as silver and gold‚ÄĒbut with His own precious blood! The¬†purchase price¬†recommends and endears the blessings, though they are so great in themselves, as to need no such recommendation! What can be greater or more suitable blessings to hell-bound sinners, than . . .
  pardon for the guilty,
  redemption for slaves,
  righteousness and justification for the condemned,
  sanctification for the unholy,
  rest for the weary,
  comfort for mourners,
  the favor of God for rebels and exiles,
  strength for the impotent,
  protection for the helpless, and 
  everlasting happiness for the heirs of hell! 
And, to sum up all‚ÄĒgrace¬†and¬†glory, and¬†every good thing, and¬†all the unsearchable riches of Christ‚ÄĒfor the wretched and miserable; for the poor, the blind, and naked!

These are blessings indeed, and, in comparison with them‚ÄĒall the riches of the world are impoverished, and vanish to nothing!

He cannot love you more!

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He cannot love you more!

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

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

The Lord cares for His children!
 
He knows our¬†needs‚ÄĒand has promised to supply them.¬†
He knows our¬†foes‚ÄĒand will deliver us from them.¬†
He knows our¬†fears‚ÄĒand will make us ashamed of them.¬†

All creatures and things are in His hand, and at His disposal; all circumstances are under His absolute control. He . . . 
  directs the angel,
  feeds the sparrow,
  curbs the devil, and
  manages the tempest! 

He is your Father‚ÄĒand His love to you is infinite. You are His delight‚ÄĒHis dear child. Will He neglect you? Impossible! Cast then your cares upon Him. Tell out all your desires, fears, and troubles to Him; let Him know everything; keep nothing back. And then in the confidence of faith, expect Him to fulfill His Word, and act a Parent’s part.

Bless Him for all He has given, for all He has promised. Plead with Him for all you may need. But never for one moment, or under any circumstances, distrust Him! He cannot love you more! He is your ever present help. He will rejoice over you to do you good, with His whole heart, and with His whole soul.

“Cast all your care upon Him, because He cares about you!” 1 Peter 5:7

True beauty is not of the face–but of the soul!

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True beauty is not of the face–but of the soul!

(Mabel Hale, “Beautiful Girlhood” 1922)

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman who fears the LORD shall be praised!” Proverbs 31:30¬†

Every girl is a lover of beauty.¬†Beautiful homes, beautiful furnishings, beautiful flowers, beautiful clothes, beautiful faces–anything wherein beauty is found, there will be found girls to admire it. From the time her little hands can reach up, and her baby lips can lisp the words, she is admiring “pretty things.” And when a little of that beauty is her own–her pleasure is unbounded.

Every girl longs to be beautiful.
¬†There is in woman a nature, as deep as humanity, which compels her to strive for good looks. There is no more forlorn sorrow for a young girl, than for her to be convinced that¬†she is hopelessly ugly and undesirable. Oh, the bitter tears that have been shed over¬†freckles, or¬†blemishedskin–and the energy that has been expended in¬†painting¬†and¬†powdering¬†and¬†waving¬†and¬†curling¬†herself into beauty!

A desire to be beautiful is not unwomanly. But, mark it:¬†true beauty is not of the face–but of the soul!¬†There is a beauty so¬†deep¬†and¬†lasting, that it will shine out of the homeliest face and make it lovely! This is the beauty to be first sought and admired. It is a quality of the¬†mind¬†and¬†heart–and is manifested in¬†word¬†and¬†deed.¬†

A happy heart, 
a smiling face, 
loving words and deeds, and 
a desire to be of service–
will make any girl beautiful!

A beautiful soul shining out of a homely face–is far more attractive than a beautiful face out of which looks a soul full of selfishness and pride!

Let your chief¬†charm¬†be of heart and mind–not of face and form.¬†
Seek the true beauty which lasts even into old age!

Solomon, in one of his wise sayings, plainly expressed the evil that comes to a woman who is beautiful of face, but lacks the true beauty of soul: “Like¬†a gold ring in a swine’s snout–is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion!” Proverbs 11:22. As the swine would plunge the golden jewel into the filth and the mire as he dug in the dirt–so will a pretty woman who is not godly, drag her beauty down to the very lowest.¬†

There are many peculiar temptations to those who are¬†only¬†lovely of face.¬†Without true beauty of soul–a pretty face is a dangerous gift!

Your beauty¬†should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight!” 1 Peter 3:3-4

As long as preachers allow their sermons to be dictated by public sentiment or the worldly desires of their hearers!

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As long as preachers allow their sermons to be dictated by public sentiment or the worldly desires of their hearers!

(Charles Naylor)

“They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” John 17:16¬†

“As Christ is, so are we in this world” 1 John 4:17

A Christian is one who is Christlike in character, in desire, and in deportment. No other has any right to bear Christ’s name. Yet there are a multitude of people who call themselves Christians, who bear no resemblance to Christ in their lives.¬†

One of the most pitiable things that we can behold, is one who professes to be a citizen of the kingdom of God–and yet lives like a citizen of the kingdom of Satan. The¬†worldly professor¬†fills his days with folly–but his cup of joy is always bitter at the last. He gathers up the “fool’s gold” that glitters in earthly things. He lives after the flesh and after the world. He goes with the crowd. He misses all the blessedness of righteousness, and, worst of all, he misses Heaven at the last. “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” James 4:4

Those who still love the pride and vanity of the world, those who are absorbed in its frivolities, those who covet its gold and its honors, those who love its applause–these are those who are of the world.¬†

Those hypocritical professors who bear Christ’s name, but will not obey Him–dishonor Him, and by their example influence others to do the same, how shall they escape the damnation of Hell? If there is one thing that God hates above all else, it is a proud and worldly heart! Such a heart can never be a reverential heart. Its religion is but hypocrisy. It is only a sham. It has no reality. It is only a cloak of respectability, while the heart is full of corruption.

The Christian life is, and ever will be, a life of separation from sin and pride and worldliness. If you are not willing to be thus separated, then you should have common honesty enough not to profess to be what you very well know that you are not. If you are going to be a Christian in name, then be one in reality.

Your¬†character, not your¬†profession, will be what will matter in the final judgment. “God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality–He will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil–there will be wrath and anger.” Romans 2:6-8

If all preachers had honesty enough and courage enough to preach the truth–then the tide of worldliness that is overwhelming such a multitude of souls and sweeping them into perdition, would be somewhat stayed.¬†As long as preachers allow their sermons to be dictated by public sentiment or the worldly desires of their hearers–they will cater to fashions, and souls by the million will drift on into Hell. Oh, what a reaping such preachers will have at the judgment! The full measure of God’s wrath will fall on those preachers who fail to be true to souls and to God, in preaching those truths the Bible clearly teaches against sin and worldliness.¬†

A lamp for my feet

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A lamp for my feet

(Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity“)

“Teach me Your ways, O Lord, that I may
¬†live¬†according to Your truth!” Psalm 86:11


Let us lead Scripture lives. Oh that the Bible might 
be seen printed in our lives! Obedience is an excellent 
way of commenting upon the Bible. Let the Word be 
the sun-dial by which you set your life. What are we 
the better for having the Scripture, if we do not direct 
all our speech and actions according to it? What is a 
carpenter the better for his rule about him, if he sticks 
it at his back, and never makes use of it for measuring 
and squaring his work? So, what are we the better for 
the rule of the Word, if we do not make use of it, and 
regulate our lives by it? How many swerve and deviate 
from the rule! 

“Your Word is¬†a lamp for my feet¬†and a light for my¬†
path.” Psalm 119:105. It is not only a light to our eyes¬†
to mend our sight‚ÄĒbut to our feet to mend our walk.¬†
Oh, let us lead Bible lives!

Christian liberty


Grace logoChristian liberty

(J.R. Miller)

We should keep watch over our words and deeds, not only in their intent and purpose ‚ÄĒ but also in¬†their possible influence over others. There may be¬†liberties¬†which lead to no danger for us ‚ÄĒ but which to others with less stable character, and less wholesome environments ‚ÄĒ would be full of peril. It is part of our duty to think of these¬†weaker¬†ones, and of the influence of our example upon them. We may not do anything in our liberty, which might possibly¬†harm¬†others. We must be willing to sacrifice our liberty ‚ÄĒ if by its exercise, we endanger another’s soul. This is the teaching of holy Scripture:

“Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may¬†edify¬†another.” Romans 14:19¬†

“Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a man to eat anything that causes someone else to¬†stumble. It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother to fall.” Romans 14:20-21¬†

“Be careful, however, that the¬†exercise of your freedom¬†does not become a stumbling block to the weak. For if anyone with a weak conscience sees you who have this knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, won’t he be emboldened to eat what has been sacrificed to idols? So this weak brother, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against your brothers in this way and wound their¬†weak conscience ‚ÄĒ¬†you sin against Christ. Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause him to fall.” 1 Corinthians 8:9-13¬†

“All things are¬†lawful¬†for me, but not all things are¬†helpful;¬†all things are lawful for me, but not all things¬†edify. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.” 1 Corinthians 10:23-24

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.

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


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


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

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.)¬†
  

“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. 

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

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¬†

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¬†

NEVER!

NEVER! 
The following is by J. C. Ryle 

“I will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.”¬† Hebrews 13:5¬†

Let every believer grasp these words 
and store them up in his heart. 

Keep them ready, and have them fresh in your memory; 
  you will need them one day. 

The Philistines will be upon you, 
the hand of sickness will lay you low, 
the king of terrors will draw near, 
the valley of the shadow of death 
 will open up before your eyes. 

Then comes the hour when you will find nothing so 
comforting as a text like this, nothing so cheering 
as a real sense of God’s companionship.¬†

Stick to that word, “never”.¬†
It is worth its weight in gold. 
Cling to it as a drowning man clings to a rope. 
Grasp it firmly, as a soldier attacked on all sides grasps 
his sword. God has said, and He will stand to it, 
¬† “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”¬†

NEVER! Though YOUR HEART be often faint, and you are sick 
of self, and your many failures and infirmities overwhelm you- 
even then the promise will not fail. 

NEVER! Though THE DEVIL whispers, “I shall have you at last;¬†
yet a little time and your faith will fail, and you will be mine.”¬†
Even then the Word of God will stand. 

NEVER! When the cold chill of DEATH is creeping over you, 
and friends can do no more, and you are starting on that 
journey from which there is no return- 
even then Christ will not forsake you. 

NEVER! When the day of JUDGMENT comes, and the books are 
opened, and the dead are rising from their graves, and eternity 
is beginning- even then the promise will bear all your weight; 
Christ will not leave His hold on your soul. 

Oh believing reader, trust in the Lord for ever, 
for He says, “I will never leave you.”¬†

Lean back all your weight upon Him, do not be afraid. 
Glory in His promise. 
Rejoice in the strength of your consolation. 

You may say boldly, “The Lord is my Helper, I will not fear.”¬†

Taken from GraceGems

What a Sight!

What a Sight! 
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,¬†
¬†¬† “LOVE’S LOGIC”¬†

O the beauty of the person of Jesus, when seen with 
the eye of faith by the illumination of the Holy Spirit! 

As the light of the morning, when the sun arises, “as a¬†
morning without clouds,” is our Well-Beloved unto us.¬†

The sight of the burning bush made Moses put off his shoes, but 
the transporting vision of Jesus makes us put off all the world! 

When once He is seen we can discern no beauties 
  in all other creatures in the universe. 

He, like the sun, has absorbed all other 
glories into his own excessive brightness. 

This is the pomegranate which love feeds upon, 
  the flagon wherewith it is comforted. 

A sight of Jesus causes such union of heart with him, 
such goings’ out of the affections after him,¬†
and such meltings of the spirit towards him, 
that its expressions often appear to carnal men to 
be extravagant and forced; when they are nothing but 
the free, unstudied, and honest effusions of its love. 

Carnal men are themselves ignorant of the divine passion of love 
to Jesus, and therefore the language of the enraptured heart is 
unintelligible to them. They are poor translators of love’s 
celestial tongue who think it to be at all allied with the amorous 
superfluities uttered by carnal passions. Jesus is the only one 
upon whom the loving believer has fixed his eye, and in his converse 
with his Lord he will often express himself in language which is 
meant only for his Master’s ear, and which worldlings would utterly 
scorn could they but listen to it. The pious feelings at which 
they jeer, are as much beyond their highest thoughts as the 
‘sonnets of angels’ excel the ‘gruntings of swine’.¬†

Taken from GraceGems

The never-failing friend

The never-failing friend 
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,¬†
¬†¬† “LOVE’S LOGIC”¬†

Experience of the love, tenderness, and faithfulness of 
our Lord Jesus Christ will weld our hearts to him. 

The very THOUGHT of the love of Jesus towards us is enough to 
inflame our holy passions, but the EXPERIENCING of his love 
heats the furnace seven times hotter. 

He has been with us in our TRIALS, cheering and consoling us, 
sympathizing with every groan, and regarding every tear with 
affectionate compassion. Do we not love him for this? 

He has befriended us in every TIME OF NEED, so bounteously 
supplying all our neediness out of the riches of his fullness, 
that he has not allowed us to lack any good thing. 
Shall we be unmindful of such unwearying care? 

He has helped us in every DIFFICULTY, furnishing us with 
strength equal to our day; he has leveled the mountains before 
us, and filled up the valleys; he has made rough places plain, 
and crooked things straight. Do we not love him for this also? 

In all our DOUBTS he has directed us in the path of wisdom, 
and led us in the way of knowledge. He has not allowed us to 
wander; he has led us by a right way through the pathless 
wilderness. Shall we not praise him for his. 

He has repelled our ENEMIES, covered our heads in the day of 
battle, broken the teeth of the oppressor, and made us more 
than conquerors. Can We Forget Such Mighty Grace? 

Are we not constrained to call upon all 
that is within us to bless his holy name? 

Not one promise of his has been broken, but all have come to pass. 

In no single instance has he failed us; 
he has never been unkind, unmindful, or unwise. 

The harshest strokes of his providence have been as full of 
love as the softest embraces of his condescending fellowship. 

We cannot, we dare not find fault with him. 

He has done all things well. 

His love toward his people is perfect, and the consideration 
of his love is sweet to contemplation; the very remembrance 
of it is like ointment poured forth, and the present enjoyment 
of it, the  experience of it at the present moment, is beyond 
all things delightful! 

At home or abroad, on the land or the sea, in health or sickness, 
in poverty or wealth, JESUS, THE NEVER-FAILING FRIEND, affords us 
tokens of his grace, and binds our hearts to him in the bonds of 
constraining gratitude. 

If we were we not dull scholars, we would, in the experience of 
a single day, discover a thousand reasons for loving our Redeemer. 

Taken from GraceGems

That very church which the world likes best!

That very church which the world likes best!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“As God has said: I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:16-18

That very church which the world likes best, is sure to be the church which God abhors most!

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud . . . lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them!” 2 Timothy 3:2-5

“We have learned to live with unholiness in our churches, and have come to look upon it as the natural and expected thing. It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a church meeting, where the only attraction is God. One can only conclude that God’s professed children are bored with Him, for they must be wooed to church with a stick of striped candy, in the form of religious movies, games and entertainments.‚ÄĚ

A. W. Tozer

Cappuccino, Chicken Panini & The Immeasurable Riches Of His Grace

It’s Tuesday morning again and this means…..Going to Roots Coffee Shop to get a Cappuccino and a Chicken Panini. But this time while i was sat, my mind drifted to the grim reaper tattoo on my leg. It’s a constant reminder of the position i was in when i got it, and the position i’m in now….Which is life or death! 

As an unbeliever, i got it to simply look hard, and death was what people seemed to fear the most and they certainly didn’t like talking about it. So i thought this was the coolest thing…..Never knowing that God had already written about this. lol.

Ephesians 2:1-3 English Standard Version 

2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience‚ÄĒ 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

But now sitting here sipping my Cappuccino thinking….i still have the tattoo and yet i’m in a totally different position. Born again, a new creation….Not by anything i did, but by the Grace of our Lord Jesus. Unbelievable! 

Ephesians 2:4-10 English Standard Version 

By Grace Through Faith

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ‚ÄĒby grace you have been saved‚ÄĒ 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Each time i remember this tattoo on my leg, i remember that death has no sting for the Child of God…..

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 English Standard Version 

55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?‚ÄĚ

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I fail to describe the Joy and Peace this gives me, knowing he has saved me and i can trust in Him. I love the line from the old Hymn: On Christ the solid rock i stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

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