The Bible is always a new book to those well acquainted with it!

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The Bible is always a new book to those well acquainted with it!

(Arthur Pink, “The Divine Inspiration of the Bible“)

Although one may know, word for word, the entire contents of some chapter of Scripture; and although he may have taken the time to thoughtfully ponder every sentence therein–yet, on every subsequent occasion, provided one comes to it again in the spirit of humble inquiry, each fresh reading will reveal new¬†gems¬†never seen there before and new¬†delights¬†will be experienced never met with previously. The most familiar passages will yield as much refreshment at the thousandth perusal–as they did at the first!¬†

The Bible has been likened to a fountain of living water–the fountain is ever the same, but the water is always fresh!

O for a spirit of habitual prayer!

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O for a spirit of habitual prayer!

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

“But I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress–and He hears my voice!” Psalm 55:16-17¬†

The well taught Christian carries everything to God–and in so doing, obtains relief, enjoys peace, and grows in grace.¬†
For all that we¬†need–we should call upon God.¬†
And from all that we¬†fear–we should flee unto God.¬†

At the close of every day, it is our mercy to call upon the Lord.
We must make confession of sin–and obtain pardon.¬†
We must carry to Him our burdens–and obtain relief.¬†
We must tell out before Him our needs–and obtain a supply.

Oh, how precious it is to go to the Lord at the close of each day, and tell Him all that has . . .
  vexed us,
  grieved us,
  cast us down, or
  disquieted our spirits! 

And how blessed to go to him each morning, and seek grace to live holily and happily through the day! 

Nor is it less blessed to have a few minutes with God at¬†noon–breaking, as it were, the day in two, and keeping short accounts with God.¬†

O for a spirit of habitual prayer
, that at evening, and at morning, and at noon–we may pray, and cry aloud to God!¬†

If we were more with the Lord in prayer, we would have . . .
  more strength to carry our crosses,
  more patience to bear our troubles,
¬† and more¬†comfort¬†amidst life’s sorrows.¬†

Holy Spirit, take up your residence in my heart as a Spirit of prayer, and lead me daily, hourly, yes, very often–to the mercy-seat. Let me find the hours of prayer to be precious seasons. And especially at eventide, when worn and exhausted with the toils and troubles of the day–let me find sweet solace and refreshment in pouring out my soul unto God.¬†

Precious Lord Jesus, draw our souls to You evening by evening, and lead us into the presence of Your Father, that we may have sweet and hallowed fellowship with God! Let our devotions ascend as sweet incense to God.


They seek to banish such a God from their thoughts!

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They seek to banish such a God from their thoughts!

(Arthur Pink)

You have done these things, and I kept silent.¬†You thought that I was just like you!¬†But I will rebuke you and accuse you to your face.” Psalm 50:21

The only God against whom the natural man is not at enmity–is one of his own imagination! The deity whom he professes to worship, is not the living God–for He is truth and faithfulness,¬†holiness¬†and¬†justice, as well as being gracious and merciful.

It is a god of their own devising–and not the God of Holy Writ, whom the ungodly believe in!¬†

“They say: How can God know? Does the Most High even know what is happening?” Psalm 73:11
They would strip Deity of His omniscience if they could! 
The wicked wish that there might be . . .
  no Witness of their sins,
  no Searcher of their hearts,
  no Judge of their deeds!
They seek to banish such a God from their thoughts!

What a proof that “the carnal mind is enmity against God!”¬†

Such is the portion awaiting the lost: 
  eternal separation from the fountain of all goodness; 
  everlasting punishment; 
  torment of soul and body; 
  endless existence in the Lake of Fire;
  forever locked up with demons and the vilest of the vile; 
  every ray of hope excluded; and
  utterly crushed and overwhelmed by the wrath of a sin-avenging God!
“Consider this, you who forget God–or I will tear you to pieces, with none to rescue!” Psalm 50:22

The line between the Church and the world seems completely effaced and forgotten!

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The line between the Church and the world seems completely effaced and forgotten!

(J.C. Ryle, 1884)

“For if the trumpet makes an¬†uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?” 1 Corinthians 14:8¬†

We need a more certain sound about personal holiness. I fear that the standard of holy living is lower just now than it has been for many years. Professing Christians seem unable to realize that there is anything inconsistent in ball-going, theater-going, gambling, card-playing, excessive dressing, novel-reading, and an incessant round of gaiety and amusements! 

The line between the Church and the world seems completely effaced and forgotten!

A crucified life of self-denial and close walking with God, a life of real devotedness and zeal for holy living–is hardly ever to be seen!¬†

Yet surely our Lord meant something when He spoke of “taking up the cross!”¬†

Surely Paul meant something when he said, 
¬† “Come out from among them and be separate!”¬†
¬† “Be not conformed to this world!”¬†
¬† “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord!”¬†

If Christ returns the second time in this generation, we shall find His words about the days of Noah and Lot fully verified. Those days are upon us!

“Just as it was in the days of¬†Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all!”
“It was the same in the days of¬†Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all!” Luke 17:26-29¬†

“Ask for the¬†old paths, where the good way is–and walk in it. Then you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16

His mercy is a boundless, fathomless, endless ocean!

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His mercy is a boundless, fathomless, endless ocean!

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

“You, O Lord, are good, and ready to forgive–and abundant in mercy to all who call upon You.” Psalm 86:5¬†

What a beautiful representation of God is this! How comforting, at the close of another day’s cares and troubles, sorrows and sins–to be reminded that our “God is good,” and especially that He is “ready to forgive”–ready to pardon all the faults and follies of this day–ready to pass them by, and still treat me as His beloved child!

He only requires me to confess and be sorry for my sins–and in a moment, all is forgiven, all is forgotten, and forgotten forever!¬†

Then He is “abundant in mercy.” The¬†fountain of His mercy¬†has not yet run dry. Run dry! It is not in the least diminished!¬†His mercy is a boundless, fathomless, endless ocean!

God has plenty of mercy for miserable sinners . . .
  mercy to pardon them,
  mercy to purify them,
  mercy to comfort them,
¬† mercy to¬†save¬†them–
mercy for all who call upon Him!

O my soul, take home tonight this lovely representation of your God, and believing that He is good, ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy–go to Him, call upon Him, and plead with Him. Then you may obtain mercy, and find grace to help you in every time of need.¬†

Good and gracious God, I adore You for Your goodness; I bless You that You are ready to forgive; I rejoice that You are abundant in mercy. And now, O Lord, glorify Your mercy in me–show Your readiness to forgive, in me! Let my heart be eased of every sorrow–and let my conscience be cleansed from every sin! Let me lie down to rest tonight guiltless–rejoicing in the glorious fact that You have blotted out my sins as a cloud, and my transgressions as a thick cloud, and are now at eternal peace with me!

 

Whence does it come?

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Whence does it come?

(Francis Bourdillon, “Man is Born to Trouble!” 1864)

Affliction¬†does not come from the dust–nor does¬†trouble¬†sprout from the ground. For man is born unto trouble–as surely as sparks fly upward.” Job 5:6-7

Affliction does not come of itself; it does not spring up from the dust of the earth, nor grow naturally from the ground, as plants do; nor has¬†chance¬†anything whatever to do with it. As¬†common¬†as it is–affliction does not come without a cause, or without being sent on purpose by God.

Yet affliction does fall to the lot of all. No one, however prosperous, is without sorrow and trial. Sooner or later: “Man is born unto trouble–as surely as sparks fly upward.” As surely as sparks go up from anything burning, or from iron beaten on the anvil–so surely does trouble in some shape befall every man who is born into the world.

Whence does it come?¬†God sends it–or at least allows it to come. But it is not saying too much, to say that He¬†sends¬†it.

When Adam fell and¬†sin¬†and death entered into the world–then¬†trouble¬†came too. This was God’s appointment. He said to Adam, “Because you have listened unto the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you–cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; in the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, until you return unto the ground; for out of it were you taken–for dust you are, and unto dust shall you return.”

And not only is trouble¬†in general¬†appointed to man by God–but¬†each man’s particular trouble¬†is of God’s appointment as well. Your troubles and mine do not come forth of the dust or spring out of the ground. They do not arise by¬†chance¬†or¬†accident. God sends them! Sickness and sorrow are ordained for us by Him–each sickness and each sorrow as it comes. We do not see the hand that sends them, but a hand there is–the hand of God!

Job’s troubles¬†were many and great–yet let him not despair. Everything was in God’s hand. All that happened was ordered by Him–all was subject to His control. “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:¬†“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,¬†and naked I will depart.¬†The Lord¬†gave–and the Lord has¬†taken away;¬†may the name of the¬†Lord¬†be praised.”¬†Job 1:20-21¬†

To all who truly know God–it is a most comforting thought that¬†their affliction comes from Him. It seems to take away the¬†strangeness¬†and the¬†bitterness¬†of it. When once they can realize His hand, then in all their sorrowful thoughts about their afflictions–they think about God too, and this comforts them. It is no longer mere trouble–but trouble which¬†God¬†has sent. If He has sent it–then it is¬†wisely¬†and¬†kindly¬†sent. Is there not a hidden blessing in it? Then the heart goes in search of the blessing and begins to ask¬†why¬†the trouble was sent, what it was meant to do, and how far it has done what it was sent for. And this is the very way to find the blessing.

Besides, when the sufferer thus sees the hand of God in trouble–he reasons that¬†God will never let the trouble be too great. If He sends it–He will not send it too sharply, nor too heavily. There is¬†no chance¬†about it.¬†All is measured and dealt out by an omnipotent hand of wisdom and love!¬†The affliction, therefore, cannot become too sore. When the right point has been reached, when the fit time has come–then He who sent it will say, “Hitherto shall you come, but no further!”

We need to be on our guard against Solomonian religion!

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We need to be on our guard against Solomonian religion!

(J.R. Miller)

“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his¬†heart¬†was not fully devoted to the Lord his God.” 1 Kings 11:4¬†

The trouble was all in Solomon’s heart! It is the heart which needs watching and keeping with all diligence. The heart must be wholly devoted in its aim and motive, to God and His service.

Solomon had a corner in his heart for the Lord–and then other corners for the gods of all the other nations. The Savior’s words are: “You cannot serve both God and mammon.”

We need to be on our guard against Solomonian religion!¬†There is plenty of it these days. It abhors the preaching of the stern truths of God’s Word about sin and punishment, and about holiness.¬†It sends well-near everybody to Heaven–and regards Hell as a mere fable!¬†It calls holy Christians “puritanic” or “strait-laced.” It calls great sins “escapades,” and finds no use for such psalms as the fifty-first.

It is not hard to see in this verse, however–which of the two kinds of religion pleases God best, and which leads to the best end.

1500 Followers: Thank You Friends!

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Hi Friends! I just wanted to take a little time to thank you for your continued love, support, comments and interactions  between all of you guys on this blog. 

Reaching ‚Äú1500 Followers‚ÄĚ is simply amazing to this little blind man from the UK. I still find it incredible that these posts reach all of you, in all walks of life‚Ķ.It‚Äôs simply Amazing!¬†

Whilst celebrating this milestone…..I feel i need to do something, like a question answer thingy. So how about asking me any question(about me, the blog or anything you like) in the comments below, and i’ll try and answer

May all my thanksgiving overflow to the glory of God

What a farce it all is!

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What a farce it all is!

(Arthur Pink)

The vast majority of the churches are in a sorry state! Those that are out-and-out worldly are at their wits end to invent new devices for drawing a crowd. Others which still preserve an outward form of godliness often provide nothing substantial for the soul; there is little ministering of Christ to the heart, and little preaching of sound doctrine without which souls cannot be built up and established in the faith.

The great majority of the pastors summon to their aid some professional speaker, who puts on a high-pressure campaign and secures sufficient new ‘converts’ to take the place of those who have ‘lapsed’ since he was last with them.

What a farce it all is!

Jellyfish Christianity

Amen!ūüôŹūüŹĽ

Already Not Yet

thequint-fit_2018-08_261fa99a-fc02-4082-93b5-8e4f6ae2a52d_bd801f8f_8034_4d04_9fd1_167a5453d37aJ.C. Ryle:

One plague of our age is this widespread dislike to distinct biblical doctrine. In the place of it, the idol of the day is a kind of jellyfish Christianity ‚Äď a Christianity without bone, or muscle, or sinew, without any distinct teaching about the atonement or the work of the Spirit, or justification, or the way of peace with God ‚Äď a vague, foggy, misty Christianity, of which the only watchwords seem to be, ‚ÄúYou must be liberal and kind. You must condemn no man‚Äôs doctrinal views. You must consider everybody is right and nobody is wrong.‚ÄĚ

And this creedless kind of religion, we are told, is to give us peace of conscience! And not to be satisfied with it in a sorrowful, dying world, is a proof that you are very narrow-minded! Satisfied, indeed! Such a religion might possibly do for unfallen angels! But to tell…

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What is most needed today!

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What is most needed today!

(Arthur Pink)

It is my deepening conviction that what is most needed today is a wide proclamation of those Scripture truths which are the least acceptable to the flesh.

What is needed today, is a scriptural setting forth of the character of God:
   His absolute sovereignty,
   His ineffable holiness,
   His inflexible justice,
   His unchanging veracity.

What is needed today, is a scriptural setting forth of the condition of the natural man:
   his total depravity,
   his spiritual insensibility,
   his inveterate hostility to God,
¬†¬† the fact that he is “condemned already,” and
   that the wrath of a sin-hating God is even now abiding upon him!

What is needed today,¬†is a scriptural setting forth of the¬†alarming danger which sinners are in–the indescribably awful doom which awaits them; and the fact that if they follow their present course only a little further, they shall most certainly suffer the due penalty of their iniquities!

What is needed today, is a scriptural setting forth of the nature of that dreadful punishment which awaits the lost:
   the dreadfulness of it,
   the hopelessness of it,
   the unendurableness of it,
   and the endlessness of it! 

Why are those blessed, who hear and obey the Word of God?

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Why are those blessed, who hear and obey the Word of God?

(Francis Bourdillon, “Short Sermons for Family Reading” 1881)

“Blessed rather are those who hear the Word of God and obey it.” Luke 11:28¬†

The Word must be obeyed–as well as heard. We must not hear it carelessly. Nor must we be hearers only, forgetting it as soon as heard. We are to guard it and keep it–to treasure it in our hearts as a precious possession. We are to believe it and to follow it–then the full blessing will be ours.

Why are those blessed, who hear and obey the Word of God?

1. Because the Word of God tells us of the¬†Savior, speaks pardon and peace, and opens to us God’s wondrous way of saving sinners. This can be said of no other book, and no other thing. The¬†works¬†of God in nature tell us much–but they do not tell us this. Many books of man are written on these subjects–but they are but man’s books after all.¬†

2. They are blessed also, because the Word of God is a¬†sure guide. It is a difficult path through the wilderness of this world. Many hindrances and perplexities meet us–and many different rules are offered for our guidance: fashion, custom, prudence, man’s opinion, etc. But the Word of God is the only¬†sure¬†guide. A simple, humble, earnest following of this guide–is the wisest, happiest, safest course! The poorest and most unlearned who through grace take this course–have more security for going right than the greatest and wisest who follow any other path. Therefore they are blessed who hear and keep the word of God–because they have a sure guide through life.

3. The word of God also¬†comforts¬†in trouble, and therefore they are blessed who hear it and keep it. This world has its sorrows as well as its difficulties–sorrows many and great; but the word of God has comfort for all of life’s sorrows. It is full of comfort. It has promises and declarations of God’s love. It contains examples of mourners whom He has comforted–and these in great number and variety. There is no kind of trouble for which some suitable comfort may not be found in the Bible. In time of deep sorrow–a comfort and consolation are found in the Word of God which are sought in vain in other books. It is the best of all books for those in trouble.

Faithful Fun On A Friday: Joke 4

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Question: What kind of man was Boaz before he got married?
Answer: Ruth-less.

Universal nonsense!

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Universal nonsense!

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

“You are to give Him the name Jesus, because He will save¬†His people¬†from their sins.” Matthew 1:21¬†

Where does the Word of God proclaim . . .
¬† an¬†atonement¬†that doesn’t atone,¬†
¬† a¬†redemption¬†that doesn’t redeem,¬†
¬† a¬†deliverance¬†that doesn’t deliver,¬†
¬† a¬†ransom¬†that doesn’t set free,¬†
¬† a¬†Savior¬†who doesn’t save?¬†

Nowhere!

Universal redemption is no redemption at all!

Universal redemption is universal nonsense!

“Christ loved¬†the church¬†and gave Himself up for her” Ephesians 5:25

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

All life’s tangles!

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All life’s tangles!

(J.R. Miller)

“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¬†

Our affairs are forever getting tangled, like threads in a child’s hands–and we cannot straighten out the tangles ourselves! We cannot see how anything beautiful or good can come out of our poor living, or our feeble striving.

Our days are full of disappointments, and our night’s rest is broken by anxieties. Yet it is the Christian’s privilege to commit¬†all life’s tangles¬†into the hands of Jesus Christ. He can take our broken things–and build them up into beauty!

One of the finest windows in a great cathedral is said to have been made out of the¬†fragments of broken glass¬†which the workmen had thrown away as worthless. A skillful hand gathered them up–and wrought them into lovely form.

In the same way, Jesus Christ can take . . .
  our failures,
  our mistakes,
  our follies,
  our broken fragments of life,
¬† and even our sins–
and make them into beautiful life and character!

“Commit your way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.” Psalm 37:5

Overcoming the world!

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Overcoming the world!

(Arthur Pink, “Faith as an Overcomer“)

“For everyone who has been¬†born of God¬†overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our¬†faith.” 1 John 5:4

One of the fruits of the new birth, is a faith which not only enables its possessor to overcome the sensual and sinful customs, and the carnal maxims and policies by which the profane world is regulated–but also the lying delusions and errors by which the¬†professing¬†world is fatally deceived.

The only thing which will or can “overcome the world” is a God-given–but self-exercised faith.

Faith overcomes the world¬†firstly, by receiving into the heart God’s infallible testimony of the world. He declares that “the world” is a corrupt, evanescent, hostile thing, which shall soon be destroyed by Him. His Holy Word teaches that the world is “evil” (Galatians 1:4); that “all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father–but is of the world” (1 John 2:16); that “the whole world lies in wickedness” (1 John 5:19) and shall yet be “burned up” (2 Peter 3:10). As faith accepts God’s verdict of the world, the mind is spiritually enlightened; and its possessor views it as¬†a worthless, dangerous,¬†and¬†detestable thing!

Faith overcomes the world¬†secondly, by obeying the Divine commands concerning it. God has bidden us, “Do not be conformed to this world” (Romans 12:2); “Do not love the world, nor the things that are in the world” (1 John 2:15); and warns us that “Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world, becomes an enemy of God.” (James 4:4). By heeding the Divine precepts, its¬†magic spell¬†over the heart is broken.

Faith overcomes the world¬†thirdly, by occupying the soul with more glorious, soul-delighting and satisfying objects. The more the¬†substance¬†of spiritual realities engages the heart–the less hold will the¬†shadows¬†of the world have upon it. “For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God” (Hebrews 11:10).

Faith overcomes the world¬†fourthly, by drawing out the heart unto Christ. As it was by fleeing to Him for refuge, that the soul was¬†first¬†delivered from the power and thraldom of this world–so it is¬†throughout¬†the Christian life. The more we cultivate real communion with Christ–the less attraction will the¬†baubles of this world¬†have for us! The strength of temptation lies entirely in the bent of our affections, “for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” (Matthew 6:21). While Christ is beheld as “the chief among ten thousand” (Song 5:10) and as “altogether lovely” (Song 5:16) –the things which charm the poor worldling, will repel us.

The world gains the victory over the unregenerate by captivating their affections and capturing their wills. But the Christian overcomes the world, because his affections are set upon Christ and his will is yielded to Him.

Here–then, we have a sure criterion by which we may determine our¬†Christian progress¬†or¬†spiritual growth. If the things of this world have a decreasing power over me–then my faith is becoming stronger. If I am holding more lightly the things most prized by the ungodly–then I must be increasing in an experimental and soul-satisfying knowledge of Christ. If I am less cast down when some of the riches and comforts of this world are taken from me–then that is evidence they have less hold upon me.¬†

Go dogs, and eat the garbage!

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Go dogs, and eat the garbage! 

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.
 For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?
 Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?
 What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? 
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 6:14-18¬†

I believe that one reason why the church at this present moment has so little influence over the world, is because the world has so much influence over the church! Nowadays, we hear mere professors pleading that they may do this, and do that–that they may live like worldlings. My sad answer to them, when they crave this liberty is, “Do it if you dare. It may not cost you much hurt, for you are so bad already. Your worldly cravings show how rotten your hearts are! If you are hungering after such dog’s food–go dogs, and eat the garbage!

Worldly amusements are fit food for pretenders and hypocrites. 

If you were God’s children, you would loathe the thought of the world’s evil joys. Your question would not be, “How far may we be like the world?” but your cry would be, “How can we get away from the world? How can we come out of it?”

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

Faithful Fun On A Friday: Joke 3

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Question: Who was the greatest female financier in the Bible?
Answer: Pharaoh’s daughter. She went down to the bank of the Nile and drew out a little prophet

Absalom’s Monument!

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Absalom’s Monument!

(J.R. Miller)

“They took Absalom, threw him into a big pit in the forest and piled up a large heap of rocks over him . . . During his lifetime, Absalom had taken a pillar and erected it in the King’s Valley as¬†a monument to himself¬†. . . He named the pillar after himself, and it is called¬†Absalom’s Monument¬†to this day.” 2 Samuel 18

It has been said that every man lives for a funeral–that is, a man’s funeral often tells what kind of a man he has been. Absalom had already built a splendid monument, which he meant should mark his grave. Instead, however, of being laid away to rest in honor by a weeping nation, beneath the shadows of a noble monument–his mangled body was hurled in dishonor into a pit in the forest, and covered with a large heap of rocks.

It was still true, however, that¬†Absalom built his own monument. His own hand dug the¬†grave of shame¬†into which his body was cast.¬†Sin’s harvest is sure and terrible!¬†

Too many young men think that it is unmanly to be holy, true-hearted, and pure–and that a “fast life” is the manly one. We have, in the story of Absalom, an illustration of the career of one who lived such a life–and we must notice that the story is written out to its last chapter.

The trouble too often is, that men do not think of what the end will be.

A splendid sum in addition!

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A splendid sum in addition!

(J.R. Miller)

“ADD . . .
  to your faith, virtue; 
  to virtue, knowledge; 
  to knowledge, self-control; 
  to self-control, perseverance; 
  to perseverance, godliness; 
  to godliness, brotherly kindness; and 
  to brotherly kindness, love. 2 Peter 1:5-7 

Our verses presents us with a splendid sum in addition! These graces are to be added one to another.

Faith¬†comes first. But faith cannot stand-alone, so we add to our faith,¬†virtue–that is, conformity of one’s life and conduct to the highest moral and ethical principles.

Next we are to add¬†knowledge. Knowledge, of course, of the true kind–wisdom for life, spiritual knowledge, knowledge of God, and of God’s will as found in His Word.

Self-control¬†comes next–this is the key of all noble life. No matter how strong we are, or how much we know–if we have not self-control, then something is lacking. He who can rule himself is strong–while he who lacks self-mastery, no matter what other gifts he may have, is pitiably weak.

Self-control produces another element–perseverance, perseverance in all Christian duties.¬†

Another quality to be added to patience is¬†Godliness–Godlikeness, Christlikeness.

Then comes¬†brotherly kindness–affectionateness and forbearance to those among whom we mingle.

Last of all–love, the crowning gift and blessing!¬†

These elements of character make up Christian maturity.

This good, old couple!

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This good, old couple!

(J.R. Miller)

“They were both¬†righteous before God–walking in all the¬†commandments¬†and ordinances of the Lord.” Luke 1:6

It is a beautiful thing which we read of¬†this good, old couple, Zacharias and Elisabeth–that they were righteous¬†before God. Some people¬†appear to men¬†to be righteous–who before God have no such record.¬†

Real character is what our hearts are–our hearts make us. We ought not to be satisfied only doing well, the things which¬†men¬†can see. We ought to work and live ever for¬†God’s eye.¬†

Sometimes we say that it is does not matter how we do certain things, because nobody will see them. But we should remember thatGod¬†will see them–and surely we should never do careless, faulty work for His eye.

The word “commandments” suggests that the holiness of these people was of a very¬†practical¬†kind.¬†

Some people’s religion is chiefly¬†emotional. They¬†talk¬†about loving God–but they pay little heed to His commandments.¬†

God is pleased with ardent devotions, but He wants us to prove our religion by obedience–doing the things which He gives us to do.

Harder to tame than wild beasts!

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Harder to tame than wild beasts!

(J.R. Miller)

“The¬†tongue¬†has the power of life and death!” Proverbs 18:21¬†

“The¬†tongue¬†also is a fire, a¬†world of evil¬†among the parts of the body. It¬†corrupts¬†the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by Hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man–but no man can tame the tongue.¬†It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison!”¬†James 3:6-8¬†

The tongue is a very¬†troublesome¬†member! It is a very¬†important¬†member, however–and with it we can do great good.

Our words, if they are true and loving–carry blessings wherever they are heard. But the tongue is hard to control. When we have really gotten our tongue under control–we are almost perfect. One who can govern his speech–can govern every other part of his life.

A¬†small bit¬†keeps a spirited horse in check–and a¬†little rudder¬†turns a great ship in its course. Just so the tongue, though so small a member, controls the whole life!¬†

The tongue is¬†harder to tame than wild beasts!¬†There has been but one Man who never spoke foolishly, rashly, bitterly. Jesus never did–His words were always pure, sweet, helpful, and inspiring.

We ought to set ourselves the task of¬†mastering our tongues–for then we can do untold good with them. Only Christ can help us to do it. He mastered everything–demons, diseases, winds, waves, death itself. He alone can help us to master the most unruly tongue!

Nothing is more helpful and practical in Christian living!

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Nothing is more helpful and practical in Christian living!

(J.R. Miller)

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

The habit of treasuring up a text of Scripture in the morning, to be meditated upon while engaged in the business of the world through the day–is both profitable and delightful. It is as¬†a refreshing spring to a weary traveler!

Nothing is more helpful and practical in Christian living, than the habit of getting a verse of Scripture into the mind and heart in the morning. Its influence stays through the day, weaving itself into all the day’s thoughts and words and experiences.

Every verse in the Bible is meant to help us to¬†live–and a good devotional book opens up the precious teachings which are folded up in its words.

A devotional book, which takes a Scripture text, and so opens it for us in the morning–that all day long it helps us to live, becoming a true lamp to our feet, and a staff to lean upon when the way is rough–is the very best devotional help we can possibly have. What we need in a devotional book which will bless our lives–is¬†the application of the great teachings of Scripture–to common, daily, practical life!

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and¬†on His law he meditates day and night!” Psalm 1:1-2

The one unfailing source of help and comfort!

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The one unfailing source of help and comfort!

(Francis Bourdillon, “Come unto Me!” 1864)

Come unto Me,¬†all¬†who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest!”¬†Matthew 11:28¬†

Jesus invites¬†all¬†who labor and are heavy laden, to come unto Him. Not sufferers of one kind only–but¬†all¬†sufferers. Not those alone who feel the weight of this particular burden or that–but¬†all¬†the heavy laden.¬†

The poor and needy, 
the weak and sickly, 
the toiling father, 
the anxious mother,
he who feels the weight of his sins, 
he whose conscience testifies against him, 
he who finds no comfort in this world, and yet fears that he is not prepared for the next
–all are invited to come to Jesus!

Their¬†cases¬†are widely different, the¬†burdens¬†that press upon them are by no means alike–yet all are invited to one Helper and Comforter, “Come unto Me!” He does not bid one sufferer go for comfort to this source–and another to that. He invites all¬†to Himself–as¬†the one unfailing source of help and comfort!¬†

“Come unto Me!” We do not¬†deserve¬†to be thus invited. Many are suffering the consequences of their own sins–and all of us are sinners. If we met with only what we¬†deserve–then He might justly say to us, “Go away¬†from Me!” Instead of this, Jesus bids us¬†come¬†to Him. Whatever we may have been–however thoughtless, however ungrateful, however wicked–yet if we are now in need or trouble, that is enough. He bids us come to Him.

We are not to stop and think about¬†our own unworthiness. He says nothing here about that. He only says, “Come unto Me.” That is what He invites us to do–that is what we are to do, and we are to do it at once!

‘Tom Thumbs’ in grace!

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‘Tom Thumbs’ in grace!

(Charles Spurgeon, “Flowers from a Puritan’s Garden” 1883)¬†

“Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s Word all over again. You need milk, not solid food!” Hebrews 5:12¬†

“An infant, if he should continue an infant always, would be a monster!”


However pleased the parents had been with the little one when it was a babe, they would soon be deeply distressed if year after year it still remained a tiny thing. Indeed, they would consider it a great calamity to be the parents of a dwarf.

What, then, shall we say of those professors who never grow? They are no more holy after fifty years! They are infants at sixty years of age!

I have in my house, pictures of my twin sons, taken on their birthdays for twenty-one years. They begin in the cradle, and end as full-grown young men.

But, alas, I have¬†spiritual children¬†whom I wheeled about in the stroller twenty years ago–and they are babies still, needing as much care as ever, and are not able to walk alone! Ah me, that so many who ought to be warriors, are weaklings; that those who should be men of six feet tall, are so stunted as to be mere¬†‘Tom Thumbs’ in grace!

O for grace to grow in grace, and especially in the knowledge of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. God save us from a life which does not grow, and from a growth which is not healthy!

“For this very reason, make every effort to¬†add¬†. . .
  to your faith, goodness;
  and to goodness, knowledge;
  and to knowledge, self-control;
  and to self-control, perseverance;
¬† and to perseverance, godliness.” 2 Peter 1:5-6¬†

“Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation!” 1 Peter 2:2¬†

We have need to use this prayer at all times!

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We have need to use this prayer at all times!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Do not forsake me, O Lord!
¬†O my God, do not be far from me!” Psalm 38:21¬†

We frequently pray that God would not forsake us in the hour of¬†trial¬†and¬†temptation–but we often forget that¬†we have need to use this prayer at all times!¬†There is no moment of our life, however holy, in which we can do without¬†His constant upholding. Whether in light or in darkness, in communion or in temptation–we alike need the prayer:¬†“Do not forsake me, O Lord! O my God, do not be far from me!”

We cannot do without continued aid from above. Let this be then, your daily prayer: 

¬† “Father! Do not forsake Your helpless¬†child, lest I fall by the hand of the enemy.¬†

   Shepherd! Do not forsake Your wayward lamb, lest I wander from the safety of the fold. 

   Great Gardener! Do not forsake Your frail plant, lest I wither and die. 

¬†¬† Do not forsake me in my¬†joys–lest they absorb my heart.

¬†¬† Do not forsake me in my¬†sorrows–lest I murmur against You.¬†

¬†¬† Do not forsake me–for without You I am as¬†weak¬†as water.¬†

¬†¬† Do not forsake me–for my¬†path¬†is dangerous and full of snares, and I cannot do without Your guidance.¬†

¬†¬† Do not be far from me, O Lord–for¬†trouble¬†is near, and no other can help me.¬†

   Do not forsake me, O Lord! O my God, do not be far from me!

¬†¬† Do not leave me or forsake me, O God my Savior–at any moment of my life!”

“Hold me up, and I shall be safe!” Psalm 119:117¬†

Faithful Fun On A Friday: Joke 2

Click image for more jokes

Question: Who was the first tennis player in the bible?
Answer: Joseph… he served in Pharaoh’s court.

A Loose Hand

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William Tiptaft

O Lord, deliver us from everything that may entangle our affections and harden our hearts.
Grant that we may hold the world with a loose hand.

5 Things Every Christian Should be Doing with God‚Äôs Word

Already Not Yet

12733-Bible_Devotional_Coffee.800w.tnMichael J. Kruger:

Psalm 119 is an amazing Psalm.  Not only is it the longest Psalm (176 verses!), but it is also the Psalm that deals the most directly with the topic of Scripture.  Virtually every verse, in one way or another, refers to God’s Word.

David (who is most likely the author) uses a variety of terminology to describe God’s Word:  commandments, law, statutes, precepts, ordinances, rules, words, testimonies, etc.  These all refer to the Scriptures as they existed in David’s day (essentially the Pentateuch).

Thus, Psalm 119 is one of the best examples of Scripture speaking about Scripture.  It is the Word about the Word.

And in it, we find David interacting with the Word of God in five ways that should be paradigmatic for all believers:

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A crucified Savior will never be content to have a self-pleasing, self-indulging, worldly-minded people!

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A crucified Savior will never be content to have a self-pleasing, self-indulging, worldly-minded people!

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

“If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it–but whoever loses his life for Me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world–and yet lose or forfeit his very self?” Luke 9:23-25¬†

We learn here, the absolute necessity of daily self-denial. Every day we ought . . .
  to crucify the flesh,
  to overcome the world,
  and to resist the devil. 

We ought to keep our bodies under control, and bring them into subjection. We ought to be on our guard, like soldiers in an enemy’s country. We ought to fight a daily battle–and war a daily warfare. The command of our Master is clear and plain, “If any man will come after Me–let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

Now what do we know of all this? Surely this is a question which ought to be asked. A little formal church-going, and a decent attendance at a place of worship–can never be the Christianity of which Christ speaks in this place.¬†

Where is our self-denial? 

Where is our daily carrying of the cross? 

Where is our following of Christ? 

Without a religion of this kind–we shall never be saved.¬†

A crucified Savior will never be content to have a self-pleasing, self-indulging, worldly-minded people!

No self-denial–no real grace!¬†

No cross–no crown!¬†

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

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

(Arthur Pink)

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

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

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

The infinite tenderness of Jesus!

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The infinite tenderness of Jesus!

(Charles Spurgeon)

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

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

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

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

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

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

“He carries the lambs in His bosom!”

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

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

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

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

Here is perfect rest and sweetest comfort. 

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

Pastoral Bullies

Amen.

Already Not Yet

maxresdefaultErik Raymond:

It was a bad day at church. What was supposed to be a blessed and meaningful worship experience felt like a punch in the gut.

What happened? Those in authority were selfish bullies.

We read about these leaders in 1 Samuel. Eli‚Äôs sons aptly described by the author as ‚Äúworthless men‚ÄĚ (v. 12), were serving at the temple. It pains us to read that these leaders ‚Äúdid not know the Lord‚ÄĚ (v. 12). In verses 13-17 we read about their shameless exploitation of their position and the people. As a worshiper was preparing the post-sacrificial portion of the peace offering for his family, a servant of the priests would pop over. These henchmen walked around with a three-pronged fork in their hands. They would walk up to the family and fish around in the pot with their fork; whatever they were able to ‚Äúcatch‚ÄĚ they would keep‚Ķ

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Unless our study of Scripture . . .

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Unless our study of Scripture . . .

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

(Arthur Pink)

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

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


True Christianity!

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True Christianity!

(J.C. Ryle)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your daughter is dead!

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Your daughter is dead!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Think of all the hard things there are in your life

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Think of all the hard things there are in your life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

No sin can be little!

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No sin can be little!

(John Bunyan)

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

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

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

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

The characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit!

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The characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit!

(J.C. Ryle)

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

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

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

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

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

The sword of God’s truth!

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

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

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

Faithful Fun On A Friday: Joke 1

Hi friends! I‚Äôve just had ¬†an idea(hopefully a good idea) of posting a short joke every Friday! Do you like the title? Sarah came out with it a minute ago! ūü§£¬†Please share with me in the comments section below, any good(clean) Christian jokes that you know/have heard.

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Question. How does Moses make his coffee? 

Answer. Hebrews it.

Sarah & I Visit Westminster Chapel

Me at Westminster Chapel

⇧ Me stood in front of Westminster Chapel ⇧ 

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

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

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

Wise counsel for Preachers

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Wise counsel for Preachers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tenderly and graciously does He deal with us!

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Tenderly and graciously does He deal with us!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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