Tag Archives: Born again

Growing in grace

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Growing in grace

(Thomas Moor, “Counsels and Thoughts for the Spiritual Life of Believers” 1882)

Remember that among your chief thoughts of the Lord Jesus, one must ever have a prominent place: that He is ever looking down upon you and watching you with tenderest love, and ordering all things for your good. 

Sometimes it is spiritual medicine, at other times it is spiritual nourishment–but at all times it is spiritual good, and just what is best for you. He sees and knows just what is best for each day and hour. So, always when you think of Him, think of Him as thus looking down upon you and ever caring for you.

The Holy Spirit is ever leading us to think of Christ and to live for Christ and continually to look to Christ.

The natural mind makes self the center, and self the end. 
The spiritual mind makes Christ the center, and Christ the end. 
The more we seek Christ, and the less we seek self–the more we please Him.

Christ is the source and end both of grace on earth and glory in Heaven. 
Grace in the heart, is glory in its beginnings. 
Glory in Heaven, is grace in its full consummation. 

Growing in grace is living more upon Christ, and living more for Christ, and growing more like Christ.

To learn of Christ and live upon Christ, is the highest experience of the soul here or hereafter!

📜 Precious Proverbs: Vomit

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Proverbs 26:11 (ESV)

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

My Thoughts 💭 

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

 🙏 Prayer 4 2day! 

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

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

Bring nothing but your sins and miseries!

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Bring nothing but your sins and miseries!

(Thomas Wilcox)

“What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ–the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith.” Philippians 3:8-9 

When you come to Christ–you must leave behind you:
  all your own righteousness,
  all your own holiness, 
  all your own sanctification,
  all your own duties, 
  all your own tears, 
  all your own repentings, etc. 
Oh, this is hard! 

You must bring nothing but your sins and miseries to Him. Otherwise, Christ is not fit for you–nor you for Christ!

📜 Precious Proverbs: The Unreliable Person

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Proverbs 25:19 (NLT)

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

My Thoughts 💭 

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

 🙏 Prayer 4 2day! 

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

In everything give thanks!

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In everything give thanks!

(Thomas Watson, “All Things for Good”)

“We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

See what cause the saints have to be frequent in the work of thanksgiving! In this, Christians are defective; though they are much in supplication–yet they are little in thanksgiving. The apostle says. “In everything give thanks! 1 Thessalonians 5:18 

Why so? Because God makes everything work together for our good. 

We thank the physician, though he gives us a bitter medicine which makes us nauseated–because it is to make us well. We thank any man who does us a good turn; and shall we not be thankful to God–who makes everything work for good to us?

God loves a thankful Christian! Job thanked God when He took all away: “The Lord has taken away–blessed be the name of the Lord!” Job 1:21. Many will thank God when He gives; Job thanks Him when He takes away, because he knew that God would work good out of it.

We read of saints with harps in their hands–an emblem of praise. Revelation 14:2. Yet we meet many Christians who have tears in their eyes, and complaints in their mouths! But there are few with their harps in their hands–who praise God in affliction.

To be thankful in affliction–is a work peculiar to a saint. 
Every bird can sing in spring–but few birds will sing in the dead of winter! 
Everyone, almost, can be thankful in prosperity–but a true saint can be thankful in adversity! 

Well may we, in the worst that befalls us, have a psalm of thankfulness–because God works all things together for our good. Oh, be much in giving thanks to God!

   ~  ~  ~  ~

And did the Holy and the Just,
The Sovereign of the skies,
Stoop down to wretchedness and dust,
That guilty worms might rise?

Yes, the Redeemer left His throne,
His radiant throne on high,
(Surprising mercy! love unknown!)
To suffer, bleed, and die!

He took the dying traitor’s place,
And suffered in his stead;
For man (O miracle of grace!)
For man, the Savior bled!

Dear Lord, what heavenly wonders dwell
In Your atoning blood!
By this are sinners snatched from Hell, 
And rebels brought to God!

What glad return can I impart
For favors so divine?
O take my all, this worthless heart,
And make it wholly Thine!

   Anne Steele, 1859

📜 Precious Proverbs: Honey

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Proverbs 24:13 (NLT)

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

My Thoughts 💭 

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

The Bible, the Word of God!

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The Bible, the Word of God!

(John Mason’s Spiritual Sayings)

The Word of God must be . . .
  nearer to us than our friends, 
  dearer to us than our lives, 
  sweeter to us than our liberty, and 
  pleasanter to us than all earthly comforts.


Take the candle of God’s Word and search the corners of your heart.


We speak to God in prayer.
God speaks to us in His Word.


All arguments against the Word of God are fallacies; 
  all ideas against the Word are delusions; 
  all derision against the Word is folly; and 
  all opposition against the Word is madness.


When God threatens, that’s a time to repent; 
when He promises, that’s a time to believe; 
when He commands, that’s a time to obey.


If a man believed the threatenings of the Word of God, 
he would tremble and fly to the promises for refuge.hrist came out of His Father’s bosom, so
the promises came out of Christ’s riven side.

📜 Precious Proverbs: A Fool

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Proverbs 23:9 (ESV)

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

🙏 Prayer 4 2day! 

Oh be merciful to me a sinner! 

The devil’s old delusion!

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The devil’s old delusion!

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

“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. The ax is already at the root of the trees, and every tree that does not produce good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire!” Luke 3

We have, in these verses, a specimen of John the Baptist’s ministry. It is a portion of Scripture which should always be especially interesting to a Christian mind.

We should first mark the holy boldness with which John addresses the multitudes who came to his baptism. He speaks to them as a “brood of vipers!” He saw the rottenness and hypocrisy of the profession which the crowd around him were making, and uses language descriptive of their case. 
His head was not turned by popularity. 
He did not care who was offended by his words.
The spiritual disease of those before him was desperate, and of long standing–and he knew that desperate diseases need strong remedies!

Well would it be for the Church of Christ, if it possessed more plain speaking ministers in our days–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, 
  in abstaining from any mention of their vices, 
  or in applying smooth names to 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, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men–or of God? Or am I trying to please men? If I were trying to please men–I would not be Christ’s servant.” Galatians 1:10

We should mark, also–how plainly John speaks to his hearers about HELL and danger! 
He tells them that there is a “coming wrath!” 
He speaks of “the ax” of God’s judgment–and of unfruitful trees being “thrown into the fire!”

The subject of HELL is always offensive to human nature. The minister who dwells much upon it–must expect to find himself regarded as barbaric, violent, unfeeling and narrow-minded! 

Men love to hear “smooth things,” and to be told of peace, and not of danger. Isaiah 30:10 

But the subject of Hell is one that ought not to be kept back, if we desire to do good to souls. It is one that our Lord Jesus Christ brought forward frequently in His public teachings. That loving Savior, who spoke so graciously of the way to Heaven–has also used the plainest language about the way to Hell.

Let us beware of being wise above that which is written, and more charitable than Scripture itself. Let the language of John the Baptist be deeply engraved on our hearts. Let us never be ashamed to avow our firm belief, that there is a “coming wrath” for the impenitent; and that it is possible for a man to be lost, as well as to be saved. 

To be silent on the subject–is dreadful treachery to men’s souls. It only encourages them to persevere in wickedness, and fosters the devil’s old delusion in their minds, “You shall not surely die!” Genesis 3:4

That minister is surely our best friend–who tells us honestly of danger, and warns us, like John the Baptist, to “flee from the wrath to come!”

Never will a man flee–until he sees that there is real cause to be afraid. 
Never will he seek Heaven–until he is convinced that he is on his way to Hell. 

The religion in which there is no mention of Hell–is not the religion of John the Baptist, or of our Lord Jesus and His apostles!

📜 Precious Proverbs: Deep Pit

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Proverbs 22:14 (ESV)

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

My Thoughts 💭 

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

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

The way to do good is to amuse people!

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The way to do good is to amuse people!

(J.C. Ryle, 1884)
 
A great change has taken place in the last forty years. A quantity of church work is continually being carried on both by clergymen and laymen, which, however well-meant, can hardly be called Christian–and in reality has a painful tendency to throw true Christian work into the background, if not to throw it entirely out! 

No one, for instance, can fail to observe that a large number of professors are spending all their time and strength on church music, church decorations, church programs, and an incessant round of church attractions. Others are equally absorbed in social work, feeding the poor, and improved dwellings for everyone. Others are incessantly getting up popular concerts, secular lectures, and evening recreations. They proclaim everywhere, that the way to do good is to amuse people!

Others are always occupied with secular guilds, and societies, and associations–and think you very wrong and heathenish if you do not join them. Myriads of professors are restlessly busy about such things from one end of the land to the other; and superficial observers are often saying, “What a great deal of church-work there is in these days!”

Now I would not for a moment be supposed to mean that all the things I have just mentioned are wrong and wicked. Yet I doubt whether the present state of things is altogether healthy. I doubt whether the work of the Holy Spirit on hearts and consciences, is not insensibly being left out in the cold and neglected. Amidst the incessant hustle and bustle about matters of entirely secondary importance–I doubt whether the sort of direct spiritual work to which the Apostles wholly gave themselves, receives as much attention as it ought. 

It is quite certain that musical services, and church decorations, and concerts, and bazaars, and social work, and the like–will not save souls. 

It is equally certain that, without repentance, and faith, and holy living, and practical, self-denying, kindly charity–no one is fit for Heaven. Do these simple, old-fashioned graces fill the place which they ought to do, in the daily proceedings of many so-called church-workers in this day? I confess I doubt it exceedingly. 

I certainly see on every side a vast increase of what people call “church-work.” But there is little or no increase of true religion. There undoubtedly is more show and glitter and display. But I extremely doubt whether there is more spiritual reality, and more growth of practical godliness.

📜 Precious Proverbs: Tongue

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Proverbs 21:23 (ESV)

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

My Thoughts 💭 

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

Comfort, safety, strength, holiness!

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Comfort, safety, strength, holiness!

(George Everard, “Talks about Home Life” 1878)

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are.” Hebrews 4:15 

There is no comfort, but in Christ’s bosom.

There is no safety, but by Christ’s side.

There is no strength, but in Christ’s arm.

There is no holiness, but in Christ’s footsteps.

Look up and see Christ, the merciful and gracious Savior, bending over you in most tender compassion. 
He is very near to you. He marks . . .
  each sigh, 
  each desire, 
  each tear, 
  each prayer. 
He thinks upon and sympathizes with you.

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with  confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 

📜 Precious Proverbs: Not Wise

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Proverbs 20:1 (ESV)

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

My Thoughts 💭 

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

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

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

They are so dear to Him, that He cannot take His eyes off them!

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They are so dear to Him, that He cannot take His eyes off them!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous.
 His ears are open unto their cry.” Psalm 34:15

The Lord observes His redeemed people with approval and tender consideration. They are so dear to Him, that He cannot take His eyes off them! He watches each one of them as carefully and intently, as if there were only that one creature in the whole universe!

Thus the Lord’s eyes and ears are both turned upon His saints. His whole mind is occupied with them. If they are slighted by all others–they are never neglected by Him. He hears their cry at once, even as a mother is sure to hear her sick babe. The cry may be broken, plaintive or feeble–yet the Father’s quick ear catches each note of lament or appeal, and He is quick to answer His children’s voice!

“The eyes of the Lord watch over those who do right,
 and His ears are 
attentive to their prayers.” 1 Peter 3:12 

📜 Precious Proverbs: Man’s Wrath

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Proverbs 19:19 (ESV)

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

My Thoughts 💭 

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

Lest we awake to find that we are paupers forevermore!

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Lest we awake to find that we are paupers forevermore!

(J.C. Ryle)

“Only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42 

We should observe what a high commendation our Lord Jesus Christ pronounced on Mary’s choice. There was a deep meaning in these words. They were spoken not only for Mary’s sake, but for the sake of all Christ’s believing people in every part of the world. They were meant to encourage all true Christians . . .
  to be single-eyed and whole-hearted,
  to follow the Lord fully, 
  to walk closely with God,
  to make soul-business immeasurably their first business, and
  to think comparatively little of the things of this fleeting world.

The true Christian’s portion is the grace of God. It is the only good thing which is substantial, satisfying, real, and lasting. The grace of God is . . .
  better in sickness–and better in health,
  better in youth–and better in old age,
  better in adversity–and better in prosperity,
  better in life–and better in death,
  better in time–and better in eternity. 
No circumstance and no position can be imagined, in which it is not better for man to have the grace of God.

The true Christian’s possession shall never be taken from him. 
He alone, of all mankind, shall never be stripped of his inheritance. 
Kings must one day leave their palaces.
Rich men must one day leave their money and lands–they only hold them until they die. 

But the poorest saint on earth has a treasure of which he will never be deprived. The grace of God, and the favor of Christ–are riches which no man can take from him. They will go with him to the grave when he dies. They will rise with him in the resurrection morning, and be his to all eternity!

What do we know of this “better part” which Mary chose? Have we chosen it for ourselves? Can we say with truth that it is ours? Let us never rest until we can. Let us choose life, while Christ offers it to us without money and without price. Let us seek treasure in Heaven–lest we awake to find that we are paupers forevermore!

📜 Precious Proverbs: He Who Finds

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Proverbs 18:22 (ESV)

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

My Thoughts 💭 

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

It Is Grace

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It is grace at the beginning, and grace at the end.  So that when you and I come to lie upon our death beds,  the one thing that should comfort and help and strengthen us there is the thing that helped us in the beginning.  Not what we have been, not what we have done, but the grace of God in Jesus Christ our Lord.  The Christian life starts with grace, it must continue with grace, it ends with grace.  Grace wondrous grace.  By the grace of God I am what I am.  Yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones

📜 Precious Proverbs: The Crucible

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Proverbs 17:3 (ESV)

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

📜 Precious Proverbs: Pleasant Words

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Proverbs 16:24 (NASB)

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

Serve Him Today

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Don’t look to the future when you might be in a better situation to serve God. Serve Him today, whatever your situation may be.

Oh, comforting truth!

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Oh, comforting truth!

(Octavius Winslow)

“The LORD has heard my cry for mercy; the LORD accepts my prayer.” Psalm 6:9 

You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted” Psalm 10:17

“This poor man called, and the LORD heard him; He saved him out of all his troubles” Psalm 34:6

“The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; He delivers them from all their troubles” Psalm 34:17 
  

“Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and He hears my voice” Psalm 55:17 

“God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer” Psalm 66:19 

“I love the LORD, for He heard my voice; He heard my cry for mercy” Psalm 116:1 

“I call on the LORD in my distress, and He answers me” Psalm 120:1 

“He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him; He hears their cry and saves them.” Psalm 145:19 

“The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and His ears are attentive to their prayer” 
1 Peter 3:12 

Christian! God is near at hand whenever you approach Him in prayer. 
Oh, comforting truth! You have a God at hand . . .
  to listen to the softest breath of prayer,
  to listen to every confession of sin,
  to listen to every cry of need,
  to listen to every utterance of sorrow,
  to listen to every wail of woe,
  to listen to every appeal for counsel, strength and support!

Arise, O my soul! and give yourself to prayer, for God is near at hand to hear and answer you!

“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16

Oh, be ravished with this!

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Oh, be ravished with this!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“That the world may know that You sent Me and loved them even as You have loved Me!” John 17:23 

Can you believe it . . .
  that you should be the object of God’s delight,
  that you should be the object of the Father’s love as truly as Christ is! 

See the amazing sacrifice which the Father made in giving Jesus to us. 

Think what it cost Him to tear His Well-Beloved from His bosom and send Him down below to be despised and rejected. 

Think what it cost Him to nail Jesus up to yonder cross, and then forsake Him and hide His face from Him, because He had laid all our sins upon Him. 

Oh, the love He must have had to us, thus to have made His best Beloved to become a curse for us, as it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree!” 

I want you to get this truth right into your souls, dear friends. 
Do not hold it as a dry doctrine, but let it penetrate your heart. 

Oh, when the river of God’s great love to us came rolling in like a mighty torrent, what a sea of love was there! Now we are borne onward forever by the mighty sweep of infinite love into an everlasting blessedness which tongues and lips can never fully set forth! 

Oh, be ravished with this!
 Be in ecstasy at love so amazing, so divine! The Father loves you even as He loves His Son! After the same manner and sort, He loves all His redeemed people.

Can you believe it! 

Oh, if the love of Jesus once enters into a man’s soul . . .
   it will forever transform him,
   it will sway him with the noblest passions,
   it will make him a zealot for Christ,
   it will cast out his pride and selfishness,
   it will change him into the image of Christ, and
   fit him to dwell in Heaven where love is eternally perfected.

We were dead men rotting in a dunghill of sin!

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We were dead men rotting in a dunghill of sin!

(Charles Spurgeon, “Treasury of David“)

“The Lord raises the poor out of the dust, and lifts the needy from the dunghill!” Psalm 113:7 

What a gracious stoop of love! He frequently lifts the lowest of mankind out of their poverty and degradation, and adopts them into His family. 

His gracious Spirit is continually visiting the down-trodden, giving beauty for ashes to those who are cast down, and elevating the hearts of His mourners until they shout for joy. 

These upliftings of grace are here ascribed directly to the divine hand, and truly those who have experienced them will not doubt the fact that it is the Lord alone who brings His people up from the dust of sorrow and death. When no hand but His can help, He interposes and the work is done. 

“And lifts the needy from the dunghill” whereon they lay like worthless refuse, cast off and cast out–left as they thought, to rot into destruction, and to be everlastingly forgotten. 

How great a stoop from the height of His throne, to a dunghill! How wonderful is that power which occupies itself in lifting up beggars, all befouled with the filthiness in which they lay! For He lifts them out of the dunghill, not disdaining to search them out from amidst the base things of the earth–that He may bring to nothing the great ones, and pour contempt upon all human glorying. 

What a dunghill was that upon which we lay by nature! 

What a mass of corruption is our original estate!

What a heap of loathsomeness we have accumulated by our sinful lives!

We could never have risen out of this corruption by our own efforts–we were dead men rotting in a dunghill of sin! 

Almighty were the arms which lifted us, which are still lifting us, and will lift us into the perfection of Heaven itself!

He Has Risen ☨ Happy Easter! 😀

Alien From Toy Story Pizza Planet

💬 Quote 4 2day… 

“You have saved our lives, we are eternally grateful!

Looking at the world through the cross!

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Looking at the world through the cross!

(Octavius Winslow)

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14 

Jesus could accomplish man’s redemption in no other way than by crucifixion. He must die–and die the death of the cruel cross. 

What light and glory beam around the cross!

Of what prodigies of grace, is it the instrument, 
of what glorious truths, is it the symbol, 
of what mighty transforming power, is it the source! 

Around the cross gathers all the light of the Old Testament economy: 
  it explains every symbol
  it substantiates every shadow
  it solves every mystery
  it fulfills every type
  it confirms every prophecy, 
of that dispensation which had eternally remained unmeaning and inexplicable, but for the death of the Son of God upon the cross. 

Not the past only–but all future splendor gathers around the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. It assures us of the ultimate reign of the Savior, and tells of the reward which shall spring from His sufferings. And while its one arm points to the divine counsels of eternity past–with the other it points to the future triumph and glory of Christ’s kingdom in the eternity to come! Such is the lowly yet sublime, the weak yet mighty instrument, by which the sinner is saved and God eternally glorified. 

The cross of Christ is . . .
  the grand consummation of all preceding dispensations of God to men;
  the meritorious procuring cause of all spiritual blessings to our fallen race;
  the scene of Christ’s splendid victories over all His enemies and ours;
  the most powerful incentive to all evangelical holiness;
  the instrument which is to subjugate the world to the supremacy of Jesus;
  the source of all true peace, joy and hope;
  the tree beneath whose shadow all sin expires, all grace lives. 

The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! 
What a holy thrill these words produce in the heart of those who love the Savior! 
How significant is their meaning, how precious is their influence! 

Marvelous and irresistible, is the power of the cross! The cross of Christ has . . .
  subdued many a rebellious will; 
  broken many a marble heart; 
  laid low many a vaunting foe; 
  overcome and triumphed, when all other instruments have failed; 
  transformed the lion like heart of man, into the lamb like heart of Christ! 

When lifted up in its own bare simplicity and inimitable grandeur–the cross of Christ has won and attracted millions to its faith, admiration, and love! 

What a marvelous power does this cross of Jesus possess! It changes the Christian’s entire judgment of the world. Looking at the world through the cross–his opinion is totally revolutionized. 
He sees the world as it really is–a sinful, empty, vain thing. 
He learns its iniquity, in that it crucified the Lord of life and glory. 
His expectations from the world, and his love to the world, are transformed. 
He has found another object of love–the Savior whom the world cast out and slew. 
His love to the world is destroyed by that power which alone could destroy it–the crucifying power of the cross. 

It is the cross which eclipses, in the view of the true believer, the glory and attraction of every other object. 

What is the weapon by which faith combats with, and overcomes the world? What but the cross of Jesus! 

Just as the natural eye, gazing for a while upon the sun, is blinded for the moment to all other objects by its overpowering effulgence; so to the believer, concentrating his mind upon the glory of the crucified Savior, studying closely the wonders of graceand love and truth meeting in the cross–the world with all its attraction fades into the full darkness of an eclipse. 

Christ and His cross infinitely better than the world and its trinkets! 

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14 

The delight which God has in His redeemed people!

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The delight which God has in His redeemed people! 

“I will rejoice over them to do them good.” Jeremiah 32:41 

“As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so your God will rejoice over you!” Isaiah 62:5 

The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you . . . He will rejoice over you with singing!” Zephaniah 3:17 

How heart-cheering to the believer, is the delight which God has in His redeemed people!

We cannot see any reason in ourselves why the Lord should take pleasure in us. We cannot take delight in ourselves, for we often have to groan, being burdened; conscious of our sinfulness, and deploring our unfaithfulness. 

And we fear that God’s people cannot take much delight in us, for they must perceive so much of our imperfections and our follies, that they may rather lament our infirmities, than admire our graces. 

But we love to dwell upon this transcendent truth, this glorious mystery–that as the bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so does the Lord rejoice over us! 

We do not read anywhere that God delights in the cloud-capped mountains, or the sparkling stars–but we do read that His delights are with the sons of men. 

We do not find it written that even angels give His soul delight; nor does He say, concerning cherubim and seraphim, “You shall be called Hephzibah, for the Lord delights in you”; but He does say all that to poor fallen creatures like ourselves, debased and depraved by sin–but redeemed and saved by His grace. 

In what strong language He expresses His delight in His people! Who could have conceived of the eternal One as bursting forth into a song? Yet it is written, “He will take great delight in you . . . He will rejoice over you with singing!” 

As He looked upon the world He had made, He said, “It is very good”. But when He beheld those who are the purchase of Jesus’ blood, His own chosen ones, it seemed as if the great heart of the Infinite could restrain itself no longer–but overflowed in divine exclamations of joy. 

Should not we utter our grateful response to such a marvelous declaration of His love, and sing, “I will rejoice in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!” 

May we see our sins

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May we see our sins

(
Henry Law, “Family Prayers”)

O God the Holy Spirit, have mercy upon us miserable sinners. Move, we beseech You, in our disordered hearts. Remove the deformities of unruly desires and hateful lusts. Chase away the mists and darkness of unbelief. Brighten our inner man with the pure light of truth. Sow abundantly the seeds of righteousness. Make our souls fragrant as the garden of the Lord. Enrich them with every godly fruit. Beautify them with heavenly grace. Be our comforter, our guide, our light, our sanctification. 

Especially take of the things of Christ, and show them with enlarged power to our longing souls. May we daily learn more of His love, His grace, His tender compassion, His faithfulness, and His beauty. May we delight ourselves in Him with increased delight. Lead us to the cross, and show us in His wounds–the hateful character of sin. May we see our sins, as . . . 
  the nails which transfixed Him,
  the cords which bound Him,
  the sword which pierced Him,
  the thorns which tore Him,
  the taunts which stung Him. 

Help us to read in His cruel death, the reality and immensity of His love. 

Open to us the wondrous volumes of glorious truth in the cry, “It is finished!” 
Our atonement is forever achieved, 
our debt is fully paid, 
all our guilt is washed away,
all our sins most righteously forgiven,
our souls saved,
Hell vanquished,
the devil crushed,
Heaven won, and 
eternity of glory our rightful home!

Holy Spirit, deepen in us these saving lessons. 
Write them with Your finger on the tablets of our hearts. 

May our walk be . . .
  sin-loathing,
  sin-fleeing,
  Christ-loving,
  God-fearing!

You must be born again!

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You must be born again!

(Don Fortner)

“You must be born again!” John 3:7

In order for God to save a sinner two things must be done: 
God must do something FOR you, and God must do something IN you.

  Redemption is the work of God FOR sinners. 

  Regeneration is the work of God IN sinners. 

Both are the works of God. Man has nothing more to do with regeneration, than he has to do with redemption.

“You must be born again” because by nature we are fallen, sinful, depraved children of human flesh. All flesh is defiled. All flesh is corrupt. All flesh is sinful. All flesh is condemned. All flesh must die. Unless we are born of the Spirit, we will die in our sins, and our flesh  shall be justly damned.

“You must be born again!” 
You can reform your life without the new birth. 
You can be baptized without the new birth. 
You can join the church, be zealous in religion, teach a Bible class, serve as a deacon or elder; you can even preach with great success without being born again. 

“You must be born again” for without the new birth . . .
  you will never enter the kingdom of God, 
  you will never be a part of the family of God, 
  you will never have eternal life, 
  you will never be admitted into the presence of God’s glory in the bliss of Heaven. 
Only new creatures will enter the New Jerusalem. 
Only holy men will walk into the Holy City. 
Only Heaven born citizens will possess the bliss of Heaven.

To be born again is to be made new creatures in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). 
In the new birth, God the Holy Spirit gives chosen, redeemed sinners . . .
  a new heart to love God,
  a new will to bow to the rule of Christ,
  a new mind to understand the things of God,
  a new spiritual nature to know, enjoy, and live upon spiritual things,
  new eyes, eyes of faith, with which to see Christ,
  new ears with which to hear His voice,
  new hands, hands of faith, with which to lay hold of Christ and do His will,
  new feet, with which to flee to Christ and walk with Him in the newness of life.

John 3:3, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again!” 

It opens the eye of the mind!

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It opens the eye of the mind!

(Joseph Alleine, “An Alarm to the Unconverted” 1671)

Conversion is a deep work, a heart work.

It makes a new man in a new world! 

It extends to the whole man–to the mind, to the affections, to the motions of the whole life.

Conversion turns the balance of the judgment, so that God and His glory outweigh all carnal and worldly interests.

It opens the eye of the mind, and makes the scales of its native ignorance fall off, and turns men from darkness to light. 

The man who before saw no danger in his condition, now concludes himself lost and forever undone–except renewed by divine grace. 

He who formerly thought there was little hurt in sin, now comes to see it to be the chief of evils! He sees the stupidity, the deformity and the filthiness of sin; so that he is affrighted by it, loathes it, dreads it, flees from it, and even abhors himself for it! Romans 7:15; Job 42:6; Ezekiel 36:31

He who could see little sin in himself, and could find no matter for confession–now sees the rottenness of his heart and the desperate and deep pollution of his whole nature. He cries, “Unclean! Unclean! Lord, purge me with hyssop, wash me thoroughly, create in me a clean heart!” He sees himself altogether filthy, corrupt in both root and branch. He writes ‘unclean’ upon all his supposed virtues and good works. He discovers the filthy corners that he was never aware of, and sees the blasphemy, and murder, and adultery that is in his heart, of which before he was ignorant. 

His hatred boils and his anger burns against sin. He has no patience with himself; he calls himself ‘fool’ and ‘beast’; and thinks any name too good for himself, when his indignation is stirred up against sin. He could once wallow in it with much pleasure; now he loathes the thought of returning to it as much as of licking up the filthiest vomit!

Hitherto he saw no form nor loveliness in Christ, no beauty that he should desire Him; but now he finds that Jesus is the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl of great price for which he is willing to sell all to obtain.

Carnal, careless, and covetous

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Carnal, careless, and covetous

One must judge of his own state by the fruit he bears.
When our fruit is unto holiness, we know that the end
shall be everlasting life. Everyone who hopes that he is
converted to God, should examine himself and prove his
own fruit. In judging of piety, there is no substitute for
a holy life. We are Christ’s disciples—if we do whatever
He commands us. We are the servants of the wicked
one—if we do the works of the flesh. We may boast of
discoveries, of raptures, and ecstasies—but all is in vain
if a consistent life is not the result. A godly life is the
infallible evidence of conversion.

Many professors of religion are carnal, careless, 
and covetous
. In them no change of life appears 
to prove a change of heart. They are much like their 
worldly neighbors, except that they attend church. 
They are spots and blemishes in Christian feasts. 
They are a grief and a shame to godly people. The 
church has their names, but the world has their 
hearts. The number of such is painfully large.

Aqueous Fluid to an Infant’s Brow!

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Aqueous Fluid to an Infant’s Brow!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
    “UNPURCHASABLE LOVE”

The most unpopular truth in the world is this sentence which
fell from the lips of Christ–   “You must be born again.”

Consequently, there are all sorts of inventions to remove the
truth out of those words. “Oh, yes!” say some, “you must be born
again, but that means the application of aqueous fluid to an
  infant’s brow.”

As God is true, that teaching is a lie; there is no grain or
shade of truth within it. No operation that can be performed
by man can ever regenerate the soul.  It is the work alone of
God the Holy Spirit, who creates us anew in Christ Jesus.

Men do not like that truth.

Spiritual Truth Still Displeases the Natural Man.

Taken from GraceGems

Cappuccino, Chicken Panini & The Immeasurable Riches Of His Grace

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

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

Ephesians 2:1-3 English Standard Version 

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

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

Ephesians 2:4-10 English Standard Version 

By Grace Through Faith

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

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

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 English Standard Version 

55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?”

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

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

Church Member

“For a Christian to be a Christian, he must first be a sinner. Being a sinner is a prerequisite for being a church member. The Christian church is one of the few organizations in the world that requires a public acknowledgement of sin as a condition for membership.”

R.C. Sproul, Reason to Believe: A Response to Common Objections to Christianity

The transforming power of the Spirit!

The transforming power of the Spirit!

(J. C. Ryle, “The Lord’s Garden”)

“To all those in Rome who are loved by God and called to be saints.” Romans 1:7

Believers are separated from the world by the effectual working of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit calls them out from the world, and separates them as effectually as if a wall were built between them and it. He puts in them . . .

new hearts,
new minds,
new tastes,
new desires,
new sorrows,
new joys,
new wishes,
new pleasures,
new longings.

He gives them . . .

new eyes,
new ears,
new affections,
new opinions.

He makes them new creatures. They are born again–and with a new birth they begin a new existence. Mighty indeed is the transforming power of the Spirit!

Godly Parents Cannot Convert Their Children

Godly parents cannot convert their children

(Mary Winslow, Life in Jesus“)

“We were born with an evil nature, and we were under God’s wrath.” Ephesians 2:3

“You must be born again.” John 3:7

Godly parents cannot convert their children. God alone can do this. But they can lead them to Jesus, and bring them up in the fear of the Lord. And when they have done this, they have done all they can do; for the Holy Spirit alone can change the heart. They must be born again. Christ has said it. It is not a change of sentiment, nor an outward reformation of life; it is a new heart implanted by the Holy Spirit.

“They are reborn! This is not a physical birth resulting from human passion or plan—this rebirth comes from God.” John 1:13

Balancing Grace & Discipleship

Hi all! I’ve just finished reading this interesting yet important article(see below) about Leading the Worship Team in a local church, and thought i’d love to hear your thoughts and expieriences on how you/your church approaches these issues.

I’m amazed by the wisdom, knowledge and diversity of all who connect with me on this blog…so i’d just love to hear and learn from you all through your comments! 😀 

The article…

If you lead worship, you know the feeling.

You’re in need of musicians and oftentimes you settle for someone who can breathe and has hands to hold an instrument. You don’t care about their standards or morality as long as you have musicians to help you lead worship.

And with a variety of people comes a variety of standards.

On the one hand, you want to challenge people to come higher – disciple them to grow in Christ. You feel a responsibility to lead worship with a team set apart to holiness. But at the same time you want to have grace for people to grow.

I mean – who wants to have standards so high that no disciples are ever made?

So here we go.

Today’s post is a question I want to ask you: What are your worship team standards? What is OK? What is not OK? What would warrant confrontation? What doesn’t really matter?

A Small List of Standards

I’m thinking of things like:

Are your musicians allowed to drink alcohol?
Are your musicians allowed to smoke?
Do your musicians need to be a born again Christians?
What if one of your team members is living & sleeping with their boyfriend/girlfriend?
Do you have a formalized dress code?
Are your musicians required to be in a small group?
Are your musicians required to be a member at the church?
What if a team member tells crude jokes or swears?
What if someone has a small drug problem?
What if a musician is homosexual?
I’d love to hear from you. It’s awesome that so many worship leaders from unique churches across the world read this blog. And to get your insight into how you approach these difficult areas will be enlightening.

I’m not trying to create a blanket of standards that every church will adopt. Every church is different – its demographic, location, vision, and goals. So one church may look completely different than another.

What is important is that you make a decision on what you believe and what you stand for. It’s important to communicate clear standards so as to minimize future awkwardness.

B.A! :)

Please click the metal quote logo so view many more quotes on iChristian

We put men into pulpits because they have degrees. But you can have 32 of them and still be frozen! “Oh,” you say, “we got a new pastor. He’s got a B. A.” I’ve got a B. A. too, I’m born-again! Today, there is such an emphasis (on education) isn’t there?

Leonard Ravenhill


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