Hang this question up in your houses!

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Hang this question up in your houses!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Whoever claims to live in Him, must walk as Jesus did.” 1 John 2:6¬†

Hang this question up in your houses,¬†“What would Jesus do?”¬†

And then think of another,¬†“How would Jesus do it?”¬†

For¬†what¬†Jesus would do, and¬†how¬†He would do it–will always stand as the best guide to us.

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

A statue of a stone lamb!

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A statue of a stone lamb!

(J.R. Miller)

“Christ, our Passover Lamb, has been sacrificed for us!” 1 Corinthians 5:7¬†

On a little church in Germany stands a statue of a stone lamb, which has an interesting history. When some workmen were engaged on the roof of the building, one of them fell to the ground. His companions hastened down, expecting to find him dead. They were amazed, however, to see him unhurt. A lamb had been grazing just where he struck the ground, and falling upon it, the little creature was crushed to death, while the man himself escaped injury. He was so grateful for this wonderful deliverance, that he had a statue of the lamb carved in stone, and placed on the building as a memorial. The lamb saved his life, by dying in his place. 
 
In the same way, every saved soul can point to the Lamb of God, and say, “I am saved–because Jesus died in my stead!”¬†

What memorial have we set up to witness to our gratitude and love? 

“The Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me!” Galatians 2:20¬†

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain–to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” Revelation 5:12¬†

You must keep the circus going!

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You must keep the circus going! 

(Ernest Reisinger)

Whatever means you use to get people into the church, is precisely what you must use to keep them.

If you get them with a ‘religious circus’ then¬†you must keep the circus going–you must keep up the entertainment.

If you get them with biblical preaching and teaching, then that will keep them and you will not need the entertainment. 

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage–with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” 2 Timothy 4:2-3¬†

If you saw Christ standing beside you all the time

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If you saw Christ standing beside you all the time

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

Scripture says of Moses, that¬†“he endured as seeing Him who is invisible!”¬†Hebrews 11:27. That is, Moses always remembered that God was right beside him, his friend to¬†help¬†him–and this made him strong. He did not actually¬†see¬†God–but it was¬†as if¬†he saw Him. That is, he¬†realized the divine presence¬†in all of his life.

If you saw Christ standing beside you all the time–it would not be hard for you to keep sweet, or to keep control of your temper and speech.¬†

Well, Christ¬†IS¬†beside you–just as really as He was beside Mary when she sat at His feet in Bethany, or beside Peter and the other disciples as they walked together over the hills of Judea and Galilee. What you need, is to¬†realize this fact.¬†

We know that Jesus is present with us all the time, at every moment, by day or by night. He is closer than any human friend can be to us. Indeed, we are to¬†practice His presence–that is, we are to live all the time, as if we actually saw Him!

You must remember that Christ¬†is¬†always besides¬†you, not only to¬†see¬†you–but to¬†help¬†you, as your truest and best Friend!

A hazardous game!

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A hazardous game!

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

“Avoid every kind of evil!” 1 Thessalonians 5:22¬†

“If we play around the viper’s hole–it no wonder that we are bitten!”

An old proverb advises us not to play with sharp-edged tools, lest we cut our fingers. 

It is a sin to trifle with sin! If we must play, we had better find harmless toys! 

That evil which caused Christ a bloody death, is no fit theme for any man’s sport.¬†

Playing with wickedness is a hazardous game! Sooner or later, we will pluck the lion of sin by the beard, and we shall be torn in pieces! 

This is true of indulgence in strong drink: “Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly!¬†In the end it bites like a snake, and poisons like a viper!”¬†

This is equally true of all other forms of evil, especially of the lusts of the flesh. Lewd words, soon lead to foul deeds. Yet such is the folly of men, that they run dreadful risks in sheer wantonness, as though vipers and cobras were fine playmates, and devils were merry-makers!

“Keep your servant from¬†deliberate sins!¬†Do not let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.” Psalm 19:13

Do not judge a minister . . .

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Do not judge a minister . . .

(Thomas Brooks, “The Unsearchable Riches of Christ!“)

“If you point these things out to the brethren, you will be¬†a good minister of Christ Jesus, brought up in the¬†truths¬†of the faith and of the¬†good teaching¬†that you have followed.” 1 Timothy 4:6¬†

It is sad to see how many preachers in our days make it their business to enrich men’s¬†heads¬†with lofty, empty, airy notions–instead of enriching their¬†souls¬†with holy truths.¬†

Fix yourself under that man’s ministry who makes it his business, his work–to enrich the soul, to win the soul, and to build up the soul; not to tickle the ear, or please the fancy. This age is full of such light, vain souls–who dislike everything but what is empty and airy.

Do not judge a minister . . .
  by his voice, nor
  by the multitude who follow him, nor
  by his affected tone, nor
  by his rhetoric and flashes of wit;
but by the holiness, heavenliness, and spiritualness of his teaching! 
Many ministers are like empty orators, who have a¬†flood¬†of words–but a¬†drop¬†of matter!

Some preachers affect rhetorical strains; they seek abstrusities and love to hover and soar aloft in dark and cloudy expressions, and so shoot their arrows over their hearers’ heads–instead of bettering their hearers’ hearts.¬†

Mirthful things in a sermon are only for men to gaze upon and admire. 

He is the best preacher, not who tickles the ear–but who breaks the heart!


“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power!” 1 Corinthians 2:4-5

A diligent pupil in the College of Contentment

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A diligent pupil in the College of Contentment 

(Charles Spurgeon)

“I have learned in whatever state I am, therewith to be¬†content.” Philippians 4:11¬†

These words show us that contentment is not a¬†natural propensity¬†of man. Grumbling, discontent, and murmuring are as natural to man–as weeds are to the soil. We need not sow thistles and weeds; they come up naturally enough, because they are indigenous to earth. Just so, we need not teach men to¬†complain; they complain fast enough without any education.¬†

“Ill weeds grow quickly.” But the precious¬†things of the earth must be cultivated. If we would have¬†wheat, we must plough and sow; if we want¬†flowers, there must be the garden, and all the gardener’s care.¬†

Now,¬†contentment¬†is one of the¬†flowers of Heaven, and if we would have it–then it must be cultivated, as it will not grow in us by nature. It is the new nature alone which can produce contentment–and even then we must be especially careful and watchful, that we maintain and cultivate the grace which God has sown in us.¬†

Paul says, “I have learned… to be content;” as much as to say, that he did not know how at one time. It cost him some pains to attain to the mastery of that great truth. No doubt he sometimes thought he had learned, and then broke down. And when at last he had attained unto it, and could say, “I have learned in whatever state I am, therewith to be content,” he was an old, grey-headed man, upon the borders of the grave–a poor prisoner shut up in Nero’s dungeon at Rome.

We might well be willing to endure Paul’s infirmities, and share the cold dungeon with him–if we too might by any means attain unto his high degree of contentment. Do not indulge the notion that you can learn contentment without discipline. It is not an ability that may be exercised naturally–but a grace to be acquired gradually. We know this from experience. Brother, hush that murmur, natural though it be–and continue¬†a diligent pupil in the College of Contentment.

The blessed man!

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The blessed man!

(James Smith, “Comfort for Christians!”)

Blessed¬†is the man You¬†chasten, O Lord–the man You¬†teach¬†from Your law!” Psalm 94:12¬†¬†¬†
    
The chastenings of the Lord¬†often appear severe–but they are¬†merciful. They . . .
  correct our follies,
  subdue our proud wills, and
  soften and humble our hard hearts before Him.

When God¬†chastens–He¬†teaches. The¬†lessons¬†are found in His Word–but we never learn many of them, until we go through the¬†furnace of affliction!¬†We often learn more truth from one short, sharp affliction–than we do from many books and sermons!

In affliction, God teaches us . . .
  our own emptiness and vanity,
  our dependence on Himself, and
  the insufficiency of all our earthly things! 

In affliction, God . . .
  endears the Lord Jesus and His great salvation to us;
  shows us the value of the provision of grace;
  makes our consciences tender and honest; 
  qualifies us for usefulness on earth; and
  fits us for the enjoyment of Himself in Heaven.

We¬†need¬†chastening. If we do not receive it–we become . . .
  carnal and worldly,
  light and trifling,
  unsavory and useless in both the world and the church! 

It is a blessed thing to be chastened of the Lord, especially when the rod teaches us such important and invaluable lessons! Chastened Christians are generally the most useful and attractive Christians. 

“Heed the¬†rod–and the One who appointed it!” Micah 6:9¬†
Chastened Christian! Seek grace . . .
  to bear the rod, 
  to bless the rod, and 
  to kiss the hand that holds the rod!

Blessed¬†is the man whom God¬†corrects–so do not despise¬†the chastening of the Almighty!” Job 5:17

People never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it

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People never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it

(J.C. Ryle, Thoughts For Young Men)

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed!” John 3:19-20¬†

Be very sure of this–people never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it.¬†

They understand it only too well! They understand that it condemns their own behavior. They understand that it witnesses against their own sins, and summons them to judgment! They try to believe it is false and useless–because they don’t like to believe it is true.

An evil lifestyle must always raise an objection to this holy book. 

Men question the¬†truth¬†of Christianity–because they hate the¬†practice¬†of it!

“For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie, and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12¬†

What a pavilion of comfort is this!

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What a pavilion of comfort is this!

(Octavius Winslow)

“As the Father has loved Me–so have I loved you!” John 15:9¬†

Believer, you have a home in the heart of Jesus!¬†What a pavilion of comfort is this–the love of Christ! To know that the affections of Jesus embrace and entwine around us, to be assured that He loves us each one as though we were the only one whom He loved–what a privilege and a bliss!

And yet so it is, Jesus loves you, cares for you, watches over and sympathizes with you–as if you were the only one whom He loved. “He loved¬†me–and gave Himself for¬†me!” Seek this individual consciousness of Christ’s love, and you will be supremely happy!

Faithful Fun On A Friday: Joke 5

 

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Question: Who was the smartest man in the Bible?
Answer: Abraham. He knew a Lot

 

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

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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!

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