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What shadows we are–and what shadows we pursue!

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What shadows we are–and what shadows we pursue!

(Octavius Winslow)

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

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

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

All is shadow here below! 

The world is a shadow–and is passing away! 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ever since you rose from your bed this morning–there has been an eye watching you!

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Ever since you rose from your bed this morning–there has been an eye watching you!

(Francis Bourdillon, “The Odd Five Minutes” 1873)

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account!” Hebrews 4:13 

Ever since you rose from your bed this morning–there has been an eye watching you!
 Wherever you have been and whatever you have been doing–that eye has seen you. It has gone with you to your work. It has seen you with your companions. It has been on you when you were alone. 

It has seen not merely all that you have done, but why you did it. Your thoughts, your feelings, your motives, which even your nearest friend has not fully known–have all been open to that eye of which I speak. For it is an all-seeing eye–the eye of God!

“His eyes are on the ways of men–He sees their every step!” Job 34:21 

“He knows the secrets of the heart!” Psalm 44:21 

“You have set our iniquities before You–our secret sins in the light of your presence!” Psalm 90:8 

Have you thought of Him whose eye has been upon you today? 
Have you given so much as one thought to Him, since the day began? 

You have need to pray, great need–for you are dependent upon God for everything. You are entirely in His hand! 

If you went to your work this morning strong and well–it was only because God made you so and kept you so. 

If you have had enough to eat today, if you are clothed comfortably and have a home to live in–it is only because God supplies your needs. You would have nothing–if God did not supply you. You live–only because He gives you life. He could take all your comforts from you–if it pleased Him. He could lay you on a bed of sickness this very day–He could in a moment, strike you dead!

Have you even spoken to Him today? Have you prayed to Him today?

“I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!” Luke 12:5

Here is a constellation of wonders!

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Here is a constellation of wonders! 

(Charles Spurgeon

“The forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Ephesians 1:7 

Could there be a sweeter word in any language than that word “forgiveness,” when it sounds in a guilty sinner’s ear! 

Can it be possible that sin–such heinous sin as mine–can be forgiven, forgiven altogether, and forever? Hell is my portion as a sinner–there is no possibility of my escaping from it while sin remains upon me. 

Can the unfathomable load of my guilt be removed? Can the crimson stain of my sins be blotted out? 
Can the adamantine stones of my prison-house ever be loosed, or the doors be lifted from their hinges? 

Jesus tells me that I may yet be forgiven. Forever blessed be the revelation of redeeming love, which not only tells me that pardon is possible–but that it is secured to all who rest in Jesus. I have believed in the appointed sin-atoning sacrifice, even Jesus crucified, and therefore my sins are at this moment, and forever–forgiven by virtue of His substitutionary sufferings and death! What joy is this! What bliss to be a perfectly pardoned soul! My soul dedicates all her powers to Him who of His own unpurchasable love became my surety, and wrought out for me redemption through His blood. 

What riches of grace does free forgiveness exhibit! 
To forgive at all
to forgive fully
to forgive freely
to forgive forever
Here is a constellation of wonders! 

When I think of . . .
  how great my sins were,
  how dear were the precious drops which cleansed me from them, and
  how gracious was the method by which pardon was sealed home to me,
I am in a maze of wondering worshiping affection! 
I bow before the throne which absolves me!
I clasp the cross which delivers me!
I serve henceforth all my days–the Incarnate God, through whom I am this day a pardoned soul! 

Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  
 Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him!” Romans 4:7-8 

Extremely derogatory to human pride!

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Extremely derogatory to human pride! 

(Stephen Tyng, “Christ is All”) 

“In his pride, the wicked does not seek God; in all his thoughts, there is no room for God!” Psalm 10:4 

Sin has entirely perverted the nature of man. 

The carnal mind is opposed to God in its . . . 
  judgments, 
  tastes, 
  desires,
  pursuits. 

God demands that guilty man . . . 
   sacrifice his own imaginary independence
   renounce his own fancied excellence, and 
   acknowledge his personal unworthiness
before he can be received into the family of God. 

Such demands seem extremely derogatory to human pride. For this reason, multitudes reject all the offers of the Gospel, and treat with contempt those who yield to the invitations which they themselves despise, and submit to the motives which they renounce, as deluded and degraded people.

“The day is coming when your pride will be brought low and the Lord alone will be exalted.” Isaiah 2:11

“The Lord Almighty has done it to destroy your pride and show His contempt for all human greatness.” Isaiah 23:9

The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.” Proverbs 16:5

📜 Precious Proverbs: Vomit

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Proverbs 26:11 (ESV)

Like a dog that returns to his vomit is a fool who repeats his folly.

My Thoughts 💭 

Wow, what an amazing word picture! Some of these proverbs just stick in your mind and heart (especially if you’ve had a dog.) It’s just so accurate and so full of His Wisdom that you can’t help but fall on your knees and ask once again for forgiveness.

 🙏 Prayer 4 2day! 

Loving Saviour, i don’t deserve the smallest of your mercies, and yet you continue to love, sustain and bless me in immeasurable ways!

Your love is blind to all of my faults, and ugly sides. I pray that You would work through me to love others compassionately and patiently. Amen.

📜 Precious Proverbs: The Unreliable Person

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Proverbs 25:19 (NLT)

Putting confidence in an unreliable person in times of trouble is like chewing with a broken tooth or walking on a lame foot.

My Thoughts 💭 

Ouch! We all know how much it hurts when we fail to put our trust in faithful brothers and sisters in Christ, it can really hurt us.

 🙏 Prayer 4 2day! 

Holy Father, forgive us when we’ve been the unreliable friend, help us to walk in your Spirit and show your steadfast love to others, in Jesus name, amen.

📜 Precious Proverbs: Honey

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Proverbs 24:13 (NLT)

My child, eat honey, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to the taste.

My Thoughts 💭 

Each time i read this proverb i think of my lovely wife Sarah. When she has a bad hypo and her blood sugar goes really low (she has type 1 diabetes – T1D), Sarah always has a piece of toast with local honey on the top. Honey is good and it’s definitely sweet to the taste! 😀 

📜 Precious Proverbs: A Fool

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Proverbs 23:9 (ESV)

Do not speak in the hearing of a fool, for he will despise the good sense of your words.

🙏 Prayer 4 2day! 

Oh be merciful to me a sinner! 

📜 Precious Proverbs: Deep Pit

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Proverbs 22:14 (ESV)

The mouth of forbidden women is a deep pit; he with whom the LORD is angry will fall into it.

My Thoughts 💭 

Coming from a broken home and being brought up with the life long radiation fallout of this…Love is whatever affection you can grab, and women where objectified. The Lord was certainly angry at me and my lifestyle and being trapped in pit after pit…

But God who is rich in love and mercy reached down and saved me. His Word was a sharp sword that cut straight through my soul and showed me what His true love is, and working through my lovely wife Sarah to show, teach and grow to be a husband fit for a princess! 😀 🙏🏻

📜 Precious Proverbs: Tongue

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Proverbs 21:23 (ESV)

Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

My Thoughts 💭 

Wow, i know all about this one. Who can tame the tongue?! Oh help us Jesus, Amen!  🙏🏻

📜 Precious Proverbs: Not Wise

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Proverbs 20:1 (ESV)

Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is led astray by it is not wise.

My Thoughts 💭 

Living in England(and probably your country too?), you grow up learning that drinking alcohol isn’t just a pasttime, it’s a national sport and essential to be cool. How deceitful is sin and the world?! 

One of my fave quotes is: “I would not put a thief in my mouth to steal my brains.” ― William Shakespeare

Let’s thank God today for his Truth and Wisdom that never changes…It changes us! 😀 

📜 Precious Proverbs: Man’s Wrath

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Proverbs 19:19 (ESV)

A man of great wrath will pay the penalty, for if you deliver him, you will only have to do it again.

My Thoughts 💭 

How many times do you see/hear this Truth throughout life. When i first became a Christian and thought i was reading the bible, when all of the time it was reading me. Let’s thank God today for hisliving breathing Word that transforms! 🙏🏻

📜 Precious Proverbs: He Who Finds

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Proverbs 18:22 (ESV)

He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the LORD.

My Thoughts 💭 

Amen! Wow this jumps out at me every time i read Proverbs 18. For you who know about my lovely wife Sarah and have read “My Testimony“, will understand why i wrap this around my heart and thank God every day for Sarah! Although Sarah found me, lol. 😀 

📜 Precious Proverbs: The Crucible

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Proverbs 17:3 (ESV)

The crucible is for silver, and the furnace is for gold, and the LORD tests hearts.

📜 Precious Proverbs: Pleasant Words

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Proverbs 16:24 (NASB)

Pleasant words are a honeycomb, Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

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

Moral Benefits Of Wisdom

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Proverbs 2:1-6 New International Version

Moral Benefits of Wisdom

My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,

2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding—

3 indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,

4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,

5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.

6 For the Lord gives wisdom;
from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.

In Full View!

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Proverbs 5:21 (NIVUK)

For your ways are in full view of the Lord,
and he examines all your paths.

This Proverb instantly reminded me of how alert Bruce used to be. If you tried to sneak anywhere (no matter how quiet you think you’re being) he’s stood watching you! 😀

Bruce Sneaky

⇧ Bruce catching me thinking i’m sneaking up the stairs while he’s asleep! 

Your Most Important Stewardship

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Proverbs 4:23 Amplified Bible

Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.

Wow, i’ve been studying the book of Proverbs this week and the Spirit has just blown me away again! We can get so busy that we completely forget the vital importance of this command, and put it somewhere further down our list. Your most important stewardship isn’t your family, your wealth, your job, your house etc,…… It’s your heart!


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