Tag Archives: Christian Life

A high esteem of yourself?

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A high esteem of yourself?

(Charles Spurgeon)

A high esteem of yourself? 

You are not a mature Christian, if you have a high esteem of yourself. 

He who¬†boasts in himself¬†is but a babe in Christ–if indeed he is in Christ at all.¬†

Young Christians may think much of themselves. 

Growing Christians think themselves nothing. 

Mature Christians know that they are less than nothing. 

The more holy we are, the more we mourn our infirmities, and the humbler is our estimate of ourselves. 

“Though¬†I am nothing.” 2 Corinthians 12:11
“Although¬†I am less than the least¬†of all¬†God’s people . . .”¬† Ephesians 3:8¬†
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save¬†sinners–of whom¬†I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15¬†
Wonderful was the grace that taught the once proud Pharisee thus to speak! 

Pride may be set down as “the sin” of human nature.

The demon of pride was born with us–and it will not die one hour before us!¬†

We are never so much in danger of being proud–as when we think we are humble.

There is no sin into which the heart of man so easily falls as pride–and yet there is no more vice which is more frequently, more emphatically, and more eloquently condemned in Scripture.¬†

We are all proud. Pride can hide under a beggar’s rags–as well as under a minister’s robes. Pride is a¬†weed¬†that will grow on a dunghill–as well as in a palace garden; but it ought never to be allowed to grow in the heart of a Christian!

No matter how dear you are to God–if pride is harbored in your heart, He will whip it out of you!

Among the wonders in Heaven, shall be these three

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Among the wonders in Heaven, shall be these three

(Charles Spurgeon)

Among the wonders in Heaven, shall be these three:

  The first wonder is that we shall see so many there, whom we did not expect to see. 
 
  The second is that we shall miss so many there, whom we did expect to see. 

¬† But the third wonder will be the greatest wonder of all–to see¬†ourselves¬†there!

        And can it be, that I should gain
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† An interest in the Savior’s blood?
        Died He for me, who caused His pain?
        For me, who Him to death pursued?

        Amazing love! how can it be
        That Thou, my God, should die for me?
        Amazing love! how can it be
        That Thou, my God, should die for me?

        Tis mercy all, immense and free
        For O my God, it found out me!
        Amazing love! How can it be,
        That Thou, my God, should die for me?

He who believes shall be saved, be his sins ever so many

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He who believes shall be saved, be his sins ever so many

(Charles Spurgeon)

“He who¬†believes¬†in the Son has everlasting life!
¬†He who¬†does not believe¬†the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him!” John 3:36¬†

He who believes shall be saved, be his sins ever so many.
He who does not believe shall be damned, be his sins ever so few.
 
There is no sin which can damn the one who sincerely believes.
There is absolutely nothing which can save the one who does not believe.

“The¬†only¬†way to be saved is by faith in Christ. Apart from faith in Him–no one, anywhere, at any time, in any culture, at any period in history, at any age, is saved.”

We find that they are empty bubbles!

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We find that they are empty bubbles!

(J.C. Ryle)

“Do not love the¬†world¬†or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world!” 1 John 2:15-16¬†

The possession of the whole world and all that it contains, will never make a person happy. Its¬†pleasures¬†are false and deceptive! Its¬†riches,¬†rank, and¬†honors, have no power to satisfy the heart! So long as we have¬†not¬†got them–they glitter, sparkle, and seem desirable. The moment we have them–we find that they are empty bubbles, and cannot make us feel content!¬†

And, worst of all, when we possess this world’s good things to the utmost bound of our desire–we cannot keep them!¬†Deathcomes in and separates us from all our property forever! Naked we came upon earth, and naked we go forth–and of all our possessions, we can carry¬†nothing¬†with us.¬†

Such is the world, which occupies the whole attention of thousands! 

Such is the world, for the sake of which millions are every year destroying their souls!

“This world is¬†fading away, along with everything that people crave!” 1 John 2:17

Morality without Christ

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Morality without Christ

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3¬†

You moral and upright people without Christ–you are as surely lost as the despicable reprobate!¬†

You chaste and respectable people without Christ–you will be as surely damned as the vile prostitute who walks the streets at midnight!

“Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish!” Luke 13:3¬†

This is the greatest sight you will ever see!

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This is the greatest sight you will ever see!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“God made Him who had no sin, to be sin for us–so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus has borne the penalty of sin on behalf of His people. 

Behold the wonder! 

There He hangs upon the cross! 

This is the greatest sight you will ever see!

Son of God and Son of Man–there He hangs, bearing unutterable pains, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God.¬†

Oh, the glory of that sight! 

The innocent One, punished! 
The Holy One, condemned! 
The ever-blessed One, made a curse! 
The infinitely glorious One, put to a shameful sin-atoning death! 

The worst days I have ever had!

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The worst days I have ever had!

(Charles Spurgeon)

The Lord gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.

Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. 

The spade of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper, and makes more room for consolation.

The Lord’s mercy often rides to the door of our heart, upon the black horse of affliction!

I bear my witness that the worst days I have ever had, have turned out to be my best days! And when God has seemed most unfriendly to me, He has then been most kind. If there is anything in this world for which I would bless Him more than for anything else, it is for pain and affliction. I am sure that in these things, the richest tenderest love has been manifested to me.

Our Father’s wagons rumble most heavily, when they are bringing us the richest freight of the bullion of His grace.¬†

Love letters from Heaven, are often sent in black-edged envelopes. 

The cloud that is black with horror, is big with mercy. Fear not the storm, it brings healing in its wings! 

When Jesus is with you in the vessel, the tempest only hastens the ship to its desired haven.

Great in mercy!

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Great in mercy!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“For as the heavens are high above the earth–so great is His mercy¬†toward those who fear Him!” Psalm 103:11¬†

His mercy is so great, that it forgives great sins to great sinners after great lengths of time–and then gives great favors and great privileges, and raises us up to great enjoyments in the great Heaven of the great God!

“The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and¬†great in mercy!” Psalm 145:8¬†

Often with his lips, and always by his life!

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Often with his lips, and always by his life!

(George Everard, “An Ordination Sermon” 1883)

“Be an¬†example¬†to all believers in what you teach, in the way you live, in your love, your¬†faith, and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

A faithful minister must preach often with his lips, and always by his life.

Preach a crucified Savior, out of crucified hearts!

The remedy of all our miseries!

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The remedy of all our miseries!

(Stephen Charnock)

“For there is one God and¬†one mediator between God and men–the man Christ Jesus!” 1 Timothy 2:5¬†

God, apart from Christ, is an angry, offended Sovereign.

Unless we behold God in and through Christ, the only Mediator–the terrors of His Majesty would overwhelm us.

Because of our sins–we dare not approach the Father, except in Christ.
We first fasten our eyes upon Christ, then upon the Father.

If Christ does not bear our guilt and reconcile us unto God, we must surely perish everlastingly! 

Before any man can think . . . 
¬† to stand before the face of God’s justice,
¬† be admitted to the secret chamber of God’s mercy,
¬† or partake of the riches of His grace–
he must look to one the Mediator, Christ Jesus.

Let us look upon a crucified Christ, as the remedy of all our miseries. 
His cross has procured our crown.
His passion has expiated our transgressions. 
His death has disarmed the law.
His blood has washed our sinful souls, spotless. 

His death is . . .
  the destruction of our enemies, 
  the spring of our happiness, and 
  the eternal testimony of divine love!

The most eloquent mouths that ever spoke!

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The most eloquent mouths that ever spoke!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Behold, I saw a Lamb looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne!” Revelation 5:6¬†

Why should our exalted Savior appear in Heaven with His wounds? The wounds of Jesus are . . .
  His glories, 
  His jewels,
  His sacred ornaments!

To the eye of the believer, Jesus is more than beautiful because He is “white and ruddy” Song of Solomon 5:10. He is white with innocence, and ruddy with His own blood.

We see Him as the ‘Lily’ of matchless purity–and as the ‘Rose’ encrimsoned with His own blood.

Christ never was so matchless as when He hung on the cross! There we behold all His beauties in perfection.

The wounds of Jesus are far more beautiful than all the splendor and pomp of kings. 

Jesus appears as the slain Lamb who sought our souls and redeemed them by His complete atonement.

His wounds are the trophies of His love and of His victory.

He has redeemed for Himself a great multitude which no one can number–His scars are the memorials of the fight.

If there were not an audible word, those wounds are the mouths which speak of His love! 

The most eloquent mouths that ever spoke, are the wounds of Christ! 

Listen! Listen! 

Every blood-drop says, “Pardon!”
Every wound says, “Life, eternal life!”

“In a loud voice they sang:¬†Worthy is the Lamb who was slain–to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” Revelation 5:12¬†

I hate buttermilk!

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I hate buttermilk!

One Sunday morning at a small southern church, the new pastor called on one of his older deacons to lead in the opening prayer. The deacon stood up, bowed his head and said, “Lord,¬†I hate buttermilk.” The pastor opened one eye and wondered where this was going.

The deacon continued, “Lord, I hate lard.” Now the pastor was totally perplexed.¬†

The deacon continued, “Lord, I ain’t too crazy about plain flour. But after You mix ’em all together and bake ’em in a hot oven, I just love biscuits. Lord, help us to realize when life gets hard, when things come up that we don’t like, whenever we don’t understand what You are doing–that we need to wait and see what You are making. After You get through mixing and baking, it’ll be something even better than biscuits. Amen.”

“Jesus replied: You do not understand now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:7

“Help me, O Lord, to make a blessed use of all the¬†disappointments¬†and¬†calamities¬†of life, in such a way that they may unite my heart more closely with You. Cause my disappointments to separate my affections from worldly things, and inspire my soul with more vigor in the pursuit of true happiness. Amen.”¬†Susanna Wesley¬†(1669-1742), mother of John and Charles Wesley and 17 other children.

“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

If you admit a pig into your parlor among your friends

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If you admit a pig into your parlor among your friends

(John Newton’s Letters)

“Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful–but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life!” Revelation 21:27

If we do not exactly know the¬†particulars¬†of what Heaven is–then we know to a certainty what it is¬†not. We are sure that it is not like earth–there are no ale-houses, gambling parlors, or theaters there.

How then could those whose hearts are set upon these things–possibly be happy even in Heaven, where they would be separated forever from all that they love?¬†Heaven must be a Hell¬†to an unhumbled, unsanctified sinner–even if he could be admitted there. The company, the employments, the enjoyments–are of the same kind with what he despised on earth.¬†If you admit a pig into your parlor among your friends–he would find no pleasure there. He would rather be in the sty, or wallowing in the mire in a ditch!¬†

Well, such were some of us–yes, such were¬†all¬†of us once! And you, my dear friends, though you were not¬†vile profligates¬†like me–you were carelessly swimming down the stream of the world, and, when upon the edge of the whirlpool which would have eternally swallowed you up–He snatched you with a strong hand, set your feet upon a rock, established your goings, and has put a new song in your mouth!¬†

“By the grace of God I am what I am!”¬†1 Corinthians 15:10¬†


Give the devil and sin an inch!

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Give the devil and sin an inch!

(Ralph Venning, “The Plague of Plagues!” 1669)

Beware of such sins as the world calls¬†little sins!¬†They say: “What harm is there in an innocent lie?” Alas, what a contradiction this is! Can a lie be innocent? One says, “Oh, it is only a trick of youth!” Yes, but it is such a trick as may cost you going to Hell! Another “deceives his neighbor and says: I am only joking!” Proverbs 26:19. Yes, but he who sins in jest or makes a jest of sin–may be damned in earnest!

Consider that no sin against a great God, can be strictly a little sin–though compared with a greater one, it may be. But however little it is–to account it so, makes it greater.¬†

The¬†nature¬†of the greater sin is in the least sin. A¬†spark¬†of fire, or a¬†drop¬†of poison–have the nature of much more sin.¬†

God has severely punished sins that have been looked upon as¬†little sins, indeed, some of them¬†well-meant sins–as when Uzzah took hold of the Ark when the cart shook (2 Samuel 6:6,7). When men only¬†looked¬†into the Ark–it cost them dearly! “The LORD¬†killed seventy men¬†from Beth-shemesh because they¬†looked¬†into the Ark of the LORD!” (1 Samuel 6:19). Gathering a few sticks on the Sabbath was severely punished! (Numbers 15:32-36).¬†

These seem to be small matters–but in sin, we must not consider so much¬†what¬†is forbidden–as¬†why¬†it is forbidden, and¬†whoforbids it.

Besides, a little sin makes way for a greater sin–just as a little boy-thief entering a house, makes way for a man-thief to enter.¬†

It is hard to sin once and only once–to commit one little sin and only one.¬†Give the devil and sin an inch–and they will take a mile! Vain babbling increases to more ungodliness. A little leak in a ship, may by degrees fill it with water and sink it. The Devil does not much care by what sins we go to Hell, whether small–or great; whether by religious formality–or open immorality.

If a man makes no conscience of little sins, to which the temptations can be only little–then how little conscience is he likely to make of great sins, to which there are greater temptations?¬†

If Judas betrays his Lord for thirty pieces of silver–then what would he not do for more?¬†

Beware then of little sins!


Moral and spiritual parasites!

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Moral and spiritual parasites!

(Frederick Marsh)

There are moral and spiritual parasites which throttle, kill, injure, or retard the growth of the spiritual life!

1. The parasite of¬†sloth¬†will hinder the grace of watchfulness–as it did the five virgins. Matthew 25:5

2. The parasite of¬†worldliness¬†will kill the grace of devotion–as it did in Demas. 2 Timothy 4:10

3. The parasite of¬†pride¬†will devastate the grace of humility–as it did with the Devil. 1 Timothy 3:6

4. The parasite of¬†unbelief¬†will keep down the grace of faith–as is seen in the children of Israel. Hebrews 3:17-19

5. The parasite of¬†self-importance¬†will kill the grace of self-denial–as is stated of Diotrephes. 3 John 9

6. The parasite of¬†avarice¬†will stifle the grace of reality–as is evidenced in Achan. Joshua 7:21

7. The parasite of¬†covetousness¬†will strangle the grace of generosity–as is manifest in Balaam. 2 Peter 2:15


Death–to the righteous and the wicked

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Death–to the righteous and the wicked

(George Lawson, “A Practical Exposition of the Book of Proverbs” 1821)

“The wicked will be cut off from the land–and the unfaithful will be torn from it.”¬†Proverbs 2:22¬†

Must not the righteous leave the earth too? 
Yes! But the earth is a very different thing to the righteous, and to the wicked. 

To the righteous–this world is a place of preparation or Heaven.¬†
To the wicked–this world is all the Heaven they will ever have.¬†

Death is a kind messenger sent to the righteous by their heavenly Father–calling them to the possession of their eternal inheritance!
To the wicked, death is a messenger of wrath–summoning them to the abodes of misery!¬†

Death is the beginning of happiness to God’s people.
Death is the final conclusion of all that the wicked counted their happiness. 

To the righteous–death is a translation to a glorious eternity!¬†
To the wicked–death is everlasting destruction and woe!¬†

“If only they were wise and would understand this–and discern what their¬†end¬†will be!”¬†Deuteronomy 32:29¬†

“So teach us to number our days–that we may gain a heart of wisdom!”¬†Psalm 90:12


For me!

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For me!

(Octavius Winslow)

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

Is Jesus precious to my heart?

Is He the object of my supreme admiration and delight?

Does He have my warmest affection?

Do I love Jesus above all?

I must light the torch of my affection for Christ–at¬†the altar of Calvary. I must go there, and learn and believe what the love of Jesus is to me–the¬†vastness¬†of that love–the¬†selfsacrifice¬†of that love–how that love of Jesus . . .
  labored for me, 
  and wept for me, 
  and bled for me, 
  and suffered for me, 
  and died for me! 

Can I stand before this love–this love . . .
  so precious, 
  so great, 
  so enduring, 
  so self-consuming, 
¬† so changeless–and know that¬†. . .
    His sin-atoning sacrifice was for me,
    His cross was for me,
    His agony was for me,
    His scorn and insult was for me,
¬†¬†¬† His death was for me–
and feel no sensibility, no emotion, no love to Jesus? Impossible! 

Do not be cast down, then, in vain regrets that your love to Christ is so frigid, so fickle, so dubious. Go and muse upon the reality and the greatness of¬†the Savior’s love to you–and if love can inspire love–while you muse, the fire will burn, and your soul shall be all in flame with love to Jesus!


Pains, infirmities, loss of sleep, the failure of sight and hearing!

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Pains, infirmities, loss of sleep, the failure of sight and hearing!

(Letters of John Newton)

“Do not cast me away when I am¬†old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.” Psalm 71:9

I am drawing nearer and nearer to the season which the Psalmist either expected or felt. Many reasons teach¬†the aged believer¬†the need of this prayer. As his¬†graces¬†are still imperfect–so his¬†powers¬†are feelingly upon the decline. It was but little he could do at his best–and now less and less!

He feels other¬†props¬†and¬†comforts¬†dropping off apace. When he was young, he had warm spirits and pleasing prospects; but now, what a change of the¬†friends¬†in which he once delighted! In some he has found¬†inconstancy–they have forsaken and forgotten him; and others have been successively taken away by¬†death. They have fallen like the leaves in autumn–and now he stands almost a naked trunk. If any yet remain, he is expecting to lose them likewise–unless he is first taken from them.

Old age abates, and gradually destroys the relish of such earthly comforts as might be otherwise enjoyed.¬†Pains, infirmities, loss of sleep, the failure of sight and hearing, and all the senses–are harbingers, like Job’s messengers arriving in close succession, to tell him that¬†death¬†is upon his progress, and is not far away!

If youth has no¬†security¬†against death–then old age has no possibility of¬†escaping¬†the¬†grim monster. But though¬†friends¬†fail,¬†cisterns¬†burst,¬†gourds¬†wither,¬†strength¬†declines, and¬†death¬†advances–if God does not forsake me–then all is well.¬†

“Even to your old age and gray hairs–I am He who will¬†sustain¬†you. I have¬†made¬†you and I will¬†carry¬†you; I will¬†sustain¬†you and I will¬†rescue¬†you!” Isaiah 46:4


Flinging gold coins and diamonds into the sea!

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Flinging gold coins and diamonds into the sea!

(J.R. Miller, 1898)

“Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise–making the most of your time!” Ephesians 5:15-16

If you saw a man standing by the shore, and¬†flinging gold coins and diamonds into the sea–you would say that he was insane. Yet God sees many people continually doing something very like this. Not gold and precious stones, do they this throw away–but minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years of time–possessions which are of greater worth than any gems of earth!

If we knew the¬†intrinsic value of time–we would not allow a moment of it ever to be wasted!¬†

It is said that in the mints, where gold is coined, that the sweepings of the floors are gathered and passed through the fire, and that in the course of a year large amounts of gold are saved from the mere dust of the precious gold which flies from it as it passes through the various processes of minting. 

In the same way, what vast values would be saved if there were some way of gathering up all the little fragments of the days and hours–the¬†golden dust of time, which people let drop amid the wastes!

Then think how much most of us would really add to the length of our life, if we had learned to use every hour and moment. We talk seriously of¬†the brevity of life. We are often heard complaining about the¬†shortness of the days, wishing they had many more hours in them. Probably the majority of people waste one-half of their time, and have made only one-half as much of their life as they might have done–if they had only used their time with wise economy, and had not squandered any of it.

There are many ways of¬†wasting¬†time. Many people waste a great deal of time in little fragments–five minutes here, ten minutes there, half an hour today, and an hour tomorrow. Those who understand the true value of time, and have learned the secret of using it, always have something worth while to fill up all the little interstices. They have a¬†good book¬†to read when they find a few minutes to spare; or on any occasion of delay.¬†

Time is also well spent, in which we get a beautiful thought, an important fact or a suggestion of a lesson into our mind. Or the fragments of time may be filled with little acts of helpfulness or kindness. It is one of the finest secrets of life, to know how to redeem the minutes from waste, and to make them bearers of blessing, of cheer, of encouragement, of good, to others. Then the whole world is sweeter, because of every kindness done or good word spoken. 

Much time is wasted in¬†useless activities–in doing things which are not worth while. There are things which are not regarded as sins–but which are of no value to anyone, and bring no benefit to him who spends his time in doing them.¬†

There is a great deal of reading that is not worth while. You go through book after book, and from all the pages you do not get one enriching thought, one helpful inspiration, or one impulse toward a holier life. All you have at the end of a year of such reading, is only a confused memory of exciting sensations, unwholesome incidents, and unreal experiences. You would better have spent the time in sleep or in sheer idleness, than in going through such worthless books!

There is altogether too much of such reading done. There are good novels, great works of fiction, which teach splendid lessons, which show magnificent character and noble conduct, which inspire their readers to truer, holier living. But there are novels which give unworthy and unwholesome thoughts of life, which leave in the mind of readers a residuum of unholy thoughts, false ideals, the¬†trail of the serpent. Then there are novels which, if they are not positively evil in their spirit and tendency–are inane, senseless, with nothing in them to make any one truer, holier, or sweeter-spirited.

A great deal of the popular reading of our day is but a waste of time, if not worse! If instead of it people would read only that which is worth while–how much richer they would be at the end of their life!

No problem that comes before us is more important than this–what to do with¬†time. In youth, we learn how to live. The habits we form then, will go with us to the end of our days. If we learn then the value of¬†moments, and form the habit of giving every minute something worthy to do–we shall have found a secret of successful living.

“Teach us to number our days aright–that we may gain a heart of wisdom!”¬†Psalm 90:12¬†


The suffering Christian!

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The suffering Christian!

(Francis Bourdillon, “Affliction, Light and Short!” 1864)

“For our¬†light¬†affliction, which is but for a¬†moment–is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we do not look at the things which are seen–but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary–but the things which are not seen are eternal!” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18¬†

Few people will call their present affliction¬†light–and few are disposed to call it¬†short. For while it lasts, it seems¬†hard¬†to bear–and a time of suffering generally appears¬†long. Yet the apostle Paul writes thus about his affliction: “Our¬†light¬†affliction, which is but for a¬†moment.”¬†

Paul’s afflictions were not, in themselves,¬†light–few men have gone through more hardships and trials than he did. Nor were they, in themselves,¬†short–for wherever he went he found them; they continued, more or less, to the end of his life.¬†

It was only when he¬†compared¬†his present affliction with the glory that was so soon to follow–that it seemed to him light and short. Then he could say, “Our¬†light¬†affliction, which is but for a¬†moment.”

We must always try to look at our afflictions in this way. If we look at them alone–they will be enough to overwhelm us! But if we think also, and even more, of the eternal¬†rest¬†and¬†happiness¬†and¬†glory¬†which lie ahead of us–then our view of our present afflictions will be greatly changed.¬†

“True,” we shall feel, “true, my sorrows are many; my sickness is sore; my pain is great; long have I lain upon a bed of suffering. Yet before me lies a home of perfect rest, where pain and sickness and sorrow cannot come. My Savior has¬†promised¬†it to me and has gone before to¬†prepare¬†it for me. In a little while, I shall be there!”¬†

With thoughts such as these,¬†the suffering Christian¬†should comfort himself–and thus weigh¬†present affliction¬†against¬†future glory. For what are all things here below, but short? Joys and sorrows, health and sickness, affliction and prosperity–all the things that¬†pain¬†and that¬†please, “the things which are seen”–all these things are but for a time.¬†

Whereas “the things which are not seen are eternal.” What we¬†hope¬†for, what Christ has¬†purchased¬†for us and gone before to¬†prepare¬†for us–that is forever! Our pains and sorrows will soon end–but our pleasures will never end! Our affliction is but for a little while–but our comforts, our Savior’s presence, our Heavenly home, will be ours always!¬†

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away–yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day!” 2 Corinthians 4:16


The sheep do not choose their own pasture!

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The sheep do not choose their own pasture!

(Francis Bourdillon, “Bedside Readings” 1864)

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures.¬†He leads me beside the still waters.”¬†Psalm 23:2¬†

“He makes me lie down in green pastures.”¬†That is, He supplies the needs of our souls. He . . .
  gives us the food of the Word of God, 
  strengthens us with His grace, and
  makes us to find our rest in Him. 

“He leads me beside the still waters.”¬†That is, He . . .
  refreshes us when we are weary, 
  revives our hearts by His promises, 
  cheers us by His presence, 
  gives us His Holy Spirit, and 
  enables us to rejoice in His salvation. 

Amidst all our trials and troubles–He comforts us and gives us fresh hope.¬†

Some may say, “Why should I have trouble at all? Why does the good Shepherd send me anything besides comfort and pleasure? Why am I¬†poor¬†or¬†sad¬†or¬†sick?”¬†

The sheep do not choose their own pasture–the shepherd chooses for them. In the same way, the disciple does not choose his own lot in life–it is¬†appointed¬†for him. His Shepherd knows best what is good for him. The best is not always what is the most pleasant at the moment–but what is most profitable in the end.

Our Shepherd sometimes leads us through what seem to us dry and stony places–but they lead to the Heavenly pastures! And even along the way, He feeds us and comforts us with all a shepherd’s care. Never is our Shepherd nearer to us, than when we are in need or danger.¬†

“My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish–ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand!” John 10:27-28


Here–put your troubles here!

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Here–put your troubles here!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Cast your burden on the Lord–and He will sustain you.” Psalm 55:22

Cast your¬†troubles¬†where you have cast your¬†sins. You have cast your¬†sins¬†onto Jesus–cast your¬†troubles¬†there also!

As soon as the trouble comes, quick, the first thing–tell it to your heavenly Father!¬†Remember, that the longer you take telling your trouble to God–the more your peace will be impaired. The longer the frost lasts–the more likely the ponds will be frozen.

Oh! It is¬†a happy way of smoothing sorrow, when we can cast our burden upon the Lord. Oh, you agitated Christians, do not dishonor your religion by always wearing a ‘frown of concern’. Come, cast your burden upon the Lord.

I see you staggering beneath a weight which He would not feel.
What seems a crushing burden to you–would be nothing but a bit of dust to Him!

See! The Almighty bends His shoulders, and He says:¬†Here–put your troubles here!

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


Made for frivolities?

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Made for frivolities?

(Charles Spurgeon, “The One Thing Needful”)

Were you made only to be a machine for digging holes, laying bricks, or cutting out pieces of wood? Were you created only to stand at a counter and measure or weigh out goods? Do you think your God made you for that and that only? 

Is this the chief end of man–to earn so many dollars a week, and try to make ends meet?

Is that all immortal men were made for?

As a man with a soul, capable of thought and judgment–and not a mere animal like a dog, nor a machine like a steam engine; can you stand up and look at yourself, and say, “I believe I am perfectly fulfilling my destiny”?¬†

God has made man that he may glorify him–and whatever else man accomplishes, if he attains not to this end, his life is a disastrous failure!

Others are lovers of pleasure. They are merry as the birds, their life is as the flight of a butterfly, which lightly floats from flower to flower, according to its own sweet will.

It cannot be that an immortal spirit was¬†made for frivolities–spending all its time on the¬†playthings¬†of the world.¬†

So great a thing as an immortal soul could not have been made by God–with no higher object than to spend itself upon trifles as light as air.

Oh, pause a while, you careless, godless one! There is something more than the fool’s laugh. All things are not a comedy. Death and Heaven and Hell are serious–and should not life be?¬†

The charms of music, the merriment of the mirthful assembly, the beauties of art, and the delights of banqueting–there must be something more for you than these. Something more must be required of you than that you should waste your precious time from morn to night upon nothing but to please yourself!


The very first letter in the alphabet of Christianity!

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The very first letter in the alphabet of Christianity!

(J.C. Ryle)

“Blessed are the¬†poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 5:3

The Lord Jesus calls those blessed, who are¬†poor in spirit. He means the humble, and lowly-minded, and self-abased. He means those who are deeply convinced of their own sinfulness in God’s sight. These are those who are not “wise in their own eyes and holy in their own sight.” They are not “rich and increased with goods.” They do not imagine that they need nothing. They regard themselves as “wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked.” Blessed are all such! Humility is¬†the very first letter in the alphabet of Christianity!¬†We must begin low, if we would build high.

Blessed are those who mourn,¬†for they will be comforted.”¬†Matthew 5:4

The Lord Jesus calls those blessed, who¬†mourn.¬†He means those who sorrow for sin, and grieve daily over their own short-comings. These are they who trouble themselves more about sin than about anything on earth. The remembrance of it is grievous to them. The burden of it is intolerable. Blessed are all such! “The sacrifices of God are a broken and contrite spirit.” One day they shall weep no more! “They shall be comforted.”

Let us learn how entirely contrary are the principles of Christ–to the principles of the world. It is vain to deny it. They are almost diametrically opposed! The very characters which the Lord Jesus praises–the world despises. The very pride, and thoughtlessness, and high tempers, and worldliness, and selfishness, and formality, and unlovingness, which abound everywhere–the Lord Jesus condemns!

Let us learn how unhappily different is the teaching of Christ from the practice of many professing Christians. Where shall we find men and women among those who go to churches and chapels, who are striving to live up to the pattern we have read of today? Alas! there is much reason to fear, that many baptized people are utterly ignorant of what the New Testament contains!

Above all let us learn how holy and spiritual-minded all believers should be. They should never aim at any standard lower than that of the Beatitudes. Christianity is eminently a practical religion. Sound doctrine is its¬†root¬†and foundation–but holy living should always be its¬†fruit. And if we would know what holy living is, let us often think who they are that Jesus calls “blessed.”¬†

I am in eternity–and you are on the brink!

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I¬†am in eternity–and¬†you¬†are on the brink!

(James Smith,¬†“A Solemn Admonition” 1859)

Passing through a country¬†graveyard¬†the other day, an inscription on a head-stone struck my eye. The stone was by the side of the path, where everyone could see it, and it was placed there in memory of a young man who died at the age of¬†seventeen. It was–

¬†¬† “Reader, one moment,
    Stop, and think:
    That I am in eternity!
¬†¬†¬† And¬†you¬†are on the brink!”

In eternity! A young man, only seventeen years of age, in eternity! 

In a fixed, a changeless, an eternal state!

In Heaven–or in Hell!

Saved with an everlasting salvation–or damned forever!

If it should be the latter–what a fearful supposition! And yet many have gone to Hell–before¬†they have been seventeen years of age!

I¬†am in eternity–and¬†you¬†are on the brink!” Yes, though you may be young, apparently healthy, full of life and vigor–you are on the¬†brink¬†of eternity! A slight accident, or a few days illness–and you are¬†in¬†eternity! What a solemn thought!

What will eternity be to you? 

Where will you be in eternity?

Are your sins pardoned? 
Are you reconciled to God by the death of His Son? 
Are you sanctified by the Holy Spirit–and thus made fit for Heaven?¬†

If not, remember that in Hell, there is . . .
  no gospel,
  no means of grace,
  no way of escape from the wrath of God!
Once there–and your doom is fixed forever!¬†

Think, O think . . .
  Of the dreadful consequences of dying in your sins!
  Of going down to the grave in an unconverted state! 
  Of dying under the curse of God!

“Behold, now is the accepted time!¬†
¬†Behold, now is the day of salvation!”

This, and nothing but this, is true Christianity!

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This, and nothing but this, is true Christianity!

(Edward Griffin, 1770-1837)

“You do not belong to yourself–for God bought you with a high price!” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20¬†

All that you¬†are¬†and¬†have–are His. You owe Him your whole selves!¬†

The Lord Jesus Christ, who¬†created¬†you and¬†redeemed¬†you from eternal damnation–is your Proprietor, Master, and King.
Whom else then should you serve?
To whom else should you devote your lives?
Whose interest should you rather seek?

“For not one of us lives for himself, and not one dies for himself. For if we live–we live for the Lord; or if we die–we die for the Lord. Therefore whether we live or die–we are the Lord’s.” Romans 14:7-8

Our religion is exactly in proportion as we cease to live for ourselves–and live for God alone. We have just as much religion–as we have of self-denial. The only evidence of attachment to Him on which we can rely–is that we make it our design and care to promote His glory and the accomplishment of His benevolent purposes, not now and then, but in the general tenor of our lives.

To live for God, is to regard His¬†will¬†as the rule and ground of our conduct, and His¬†glory¬†as our supreme object. Not merely one day in a week–but in our general course to act from a reference to His authority.¬†

To live for God, is to choose our calling, to pursue our business, to frame our habits, to regulate our actions from hour to hour–from a regard to His will and honor.¬†

To live for God, is to feel and act as those who are not at liberty to live to themselves, but have their work daily assigned them by a heavenly Master. 

To live for God, is to live under a sense that we are not our own–not our own masters, not our own proprietors, not at our own disposal.¬†

To live for God, is to live as though our time, talents, influence, property, and all that we¬†are¬†and¬†have–are God’s.¬†

To live for God, is to hold everything in readiness to use for Him, or resign all things to Him as He shall direct. 

To live for God, is to to be submissive under afflictions, and willing to be at His disposal in all our trials. 

To live for God, is to to be ready to deny ourselves for Him in every way which His Word or Providence may point out. 

To live for God, is to desire life chiefly that we may serve Him. 

To live for God, is to make Him the center in which all the lines of our life shall meet. 

To live for God, is to make it the business of our lives to please Him and not ourselves.

The very core of all true religion, is not to live for ourselves–but for God; not to consider ourselves our own–but the property and the servants of the Lord Jesus Christ; not to feel as though we are set up in the world to work for ourselves, to spend the most of our time in pursuing what is termed¬†our innocent gratifications–but to hold our time, powers, influence, and property as talents entrusted to us to be used for Christ–keeping our eye on His Word to learn His will, and aiming habitually to please and honor Him.¬†

This, and nothing but this, is true Christianity!¬†Whatever our¬†creed¬†is–if this is not our¬†character–then all our religion is vain!¬†

“So¬†we make it our goal to please Him–whether we are at home in the body or away from it!” 2 Corinthians 5:9


The best evidence of Christianity!

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The best evidence of Christianity! 

(Frederick Marsh)

Jesus is the chief among ten thousand–the altogether lovely One!

Christ is the Chiefest–or better than the best.¬†

His love is unknowable! Ephesians 3:19 

His riches are unsearchable! Ephesians 3:18 

His joy is unspeakable! 1 Peter 1:8 

His ways are untrackable! Romans 11:33 

His grace is inexhaustible! 2 Corinthians 9:8 

His peace is unfathomable! Philippians 4:7 

And He Himself is unsurpassable! Exodus 15:11 
 

His character was beautiful with holiness in every detail. Hebrews 7:26 

His love was pure and faithful in all its affection. John 13:1 

His service was true and beneficent in all its workings. Acts 10:38 

His words were tender and true in all their utterances. John 7:45 

His life was consistent in every department. Mark 7:37 

His aim was single and concentrated in glorifying God. John 17:4 

His mission was to benefit all who would trust Him, in dying a death which they deserved. 2 Corinthians 8:9 

Christ is Christianity–and¬†the best evidence of Christianity¬†is Christ!

“Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!” Song of Songs 5:16¬†

Of all sins, it is the most secret, subtle and insinuating!

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Of all sins, it is the most secret, subtle and insinuating! 

(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

“In his¬†pride, the wicked does not seek Him. In all his thoughts, there is no room for God.” Psalm 10:4¬†

The pride of the wicked is the principal reason why they will not seek after the knowledge of God. 

In the first place, pride renders God a disagreeable object of contemplation to the wicked–and a knowledge of Him as undesirable. Pride consists in an unduly exalted opinion of one’s self. It is, therefore, impatient of a rival, hates a superior, and cannot endure a master. In proportion as it prevails in the heart–pride makes us wish . . .
  to see nothing above us,
  to acknowledge no law but our own wills,
  to follow no rule but our own inclinations. 

Thus it led Satan to rebel against his Creator–and our first parents to desire to be as gods.¬†

Since such are the effects of pride, it is evident that nothing can be more painful to a proud heart than the thoughts of such a being as God–one who is infinitely powerful, just, and holy–who can neither be resisted, deceived, nor deluded–who disposes, according to His own sovereign pleasure, of all creatures and events–and who, in an especial manner, hates pride, and is determined to abase and punish it. Such a Being, pride can contemplate only with feelings of dread, aversion, and abhorrence. It must look upon God as its natural enemy–the great Enemy whom it has to fear.¬†

The knowledge of God directly tends to bring this infinite, irresistible, irreconcilable Enemy full to the view of the proud man. It teaches him that he has a superior, a master . . .
  from whose authority he cannot escape,
  whose power he cannot resist,
¬† and whose¬†will¬†he must obey–
or be crushed before Him, and be rendered miserable forever! It shows him what he hates to see–that, in despite of his opposition . . .
¬† God’s counsel shall stand,¬†
  He will do all His pleasure, and
  that He is infinitely above them. 

These truths torture the proud unhumbled hearts of the wicked, and hence they hate the Scriptures which teach these truths. On the contrary, they wish to remain ignorant of such a Being, and to banish all thoughts of Him from their minds. With this view, they neglect, pervert, or explain away those passages of Scripture which describe God’s true character, and endeavor to believe that He is altogether such a one as themselves.

How foolish, how absurd, how ruinous, how blindly destructive of its own self–does¬†pride¬†appear! By attempting to¬†soar–it only plunges itself in the mire! While endeavoring to erect for itself a¬†throne–it undermines the ground on which it stands, and digs its own grave!

Pride plunged Satan from Heaven into Hell; it banished our first parents from paradise; and it will, in a similar manner, ruin all who indulge in it. Pride . . . 
  keeps us in ignorance of God,
  shuts us out from His favor,
  prevents us from resembling Him, and
  deprives us in this world, of all the honor and happiness which communion with Him would confer.
And in the next world, unless previously hated, repented of, and renounced–pride will bar the door of Heaven forever against us, and close the gates of Hell upon us!¬†

O then, my friends, beware, above all things–beware of pride!¬†Beware, lest you indulge it imperceptibly, for¬†of all sins–it is the most secret, subtle and insinuating!


WHY?

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WHY? 

(Horatius Bonar)  

“Do not love the world or anything in the world.”¬†1 John 2:15¬†

WHY?

1. Because the gain of it, is the loss of the soul–Matthew 16:25-26.¬†
  
2. Because its friendship is enmity to God–James 4:4.¬†
  
3. Because it did not know Christ–John 1:10; 17:25.¬†
  
4. Because it hates Christ–John 7:7; 15:18.¬†
  
5. Because the Holy Spirit has forbidden us–1 John 2:15.¬†
  
6. Because Christ did not pray for it–John 17:9.¬†
  
7. Because Christ’s people do not belong to it–John 17:16.¬†
  
8. Because its Prince is Satan–John 13:31; 16:11.¬†
  
9. Because Christ’s kingdom is not of it–John 18:36.¬†
  
10. Because its wisdom is foolishness–1 Corinthians 1:20.¬†
  
11. Because Christ does not belong to it–John 8:23.¬†
  
12. Because it is condemned–1 Corinthians 11:32.¬†
  
13. Because it is passing away–1 Corinthians 7:31.¬†
  
14. Because it slew Christ–James 5:6; Matthew 21:39.¬†
  
15. Because it is crucified to us–Galatians 6:14.¬†
  
16. Because we are crucified to it–Galatians 6:14.¬†
  
17. Because it is the seat of wickedness–2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 5:19.¬†
  
18. Because its god is the evil one–2 Corinthians 4:4.¬†

If Christ has our love–then He has our ALL!

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If Christ has our love–then He has our ALL!¬†

(Thomas Doolittle, “Love to Christ Necessary to Escape the Curse at His Coming!” 1693)

“If any man does not love the Lord Jesus Christ–he shall be accursed!” 1 Corinthians 16:22¬†

If Christ has our¬†love–then He has our ALL!¬†
Christ never has our¬†all¬†from us–until He has our¬†love. Love withholds nothing from Christ, when it is sincerely set upon Him.¬†
Then He shall have our time, 
and He shall have our service, 
and He shall have the use of all our abilities, and gifts, and graces! 
Yes, then He shall have our estates and our very lives–when He calls for them.¬†

As when¬†God¬†loves any of us–He will withhold nothing from us that is good for us; no, not even His own only begotten Son! Romans 8:32¬†

And when Christ loves us, then He gives all unto us:
  His merits to justify us, 
  His Spirit to sanctify us, 
  His grace to adorn us, 
  His glory to crown us!

Just so, when any of us love Christ sincerely, we lay all down at His feet, and give up all to be at His command and service! “And they did not love their lives unto the death!” Revelation 12:11

Love gives the character to a man, according as the object is, which he superlatively loves. 
As is the love–such is the man. As is the love–such might you boldly call the man.¬†

If he is a lover of honor–then he is an¬†ambitious¬†man.¬†

If he is a lover of pleasure–then he is a¬†voluptuous¬†man.¬†

If he chiefly loves the world–then he is he is a¬†covetous¬†man.

If he loves holiness–then he is he is a¬†pious¬†man.¬†

If he loves the things above–then he is a¬†heavenly-minded¬†man.

If he loves Christ with a predominant love–then he is a¬†Christian¬†man!

“The upright love You!” Song of Songs 1:4


Nothing worse can happen to a Church!

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Nothing worse can happen to a Church!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Do not¬†conform¬†any longer to the pattern of this world–but be¬†transformed¬†by the renewing of your mind.”¬†Romans 12:2

Someone was asking, the other day, how it was that the church, nowadays, was not so separate from the world as it used to be. One who heard the question suggested that, possibly, the world had grown better; but another more truly said that, probably, the church had grown worse.

There are some, in these apostate days, who think that the church cannot do better than to come down to the world to learn her ways, follow her maxims, and acquire her “culture.” In fact, the notion is that the world is to be conquered by our¬†conformity¬†to it. This is as contrary to Scripture as the light is to the darkness!

Brethren, beloved in the Lord, you may depend upon it that¬†nothing worse can happen to a Church, than to be conformed unto this world! Write “Ichabod!” upon her walls, then–for the sentence of destruction has gone out against her.¬†

It will be an ill day for the church and the world when the proposed amalgamation shall be complete, and the sons of God and the daughters of men shall be as one–then shall another deluge of wrath be ushered in!

“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 6:17-18

Which is the best apple tree in the garden?

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Which is the best apple tree in the garden?

(Charles Spurgeon)

Ask the gardener¬†which is the best apple tree in the garden–and he will tell you that it is not the one which has the best¬†shape, but the one which yields the most¬†fruit!¬†

In the same way, he is not the best Christian who occupies the highest position, or who talks the most about divine things–but it is he whose life is most fruitful in good works to the glory of God!

“By this My Father is glorified, that you¬†bear much fruit–so you will be My disciples.” John 15:8¬†

“He is like a tree planted beside¬†streams of¬†water¬†that¬†bears its fruit¬†in¬†season¬†and whose leaf does¬†not¬†wither.”¬†Psalm 1:3¬†

Eloquent prayers

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Eloquent prayers

(Charles Spurgeon)

If the¬†eloquence¬†of our prayers mattered to God, then eloquence would be more valuable than grace–but it is not so.¬†

Some of us may be able to express ourselves very fluently from the force of natural abilities–but it should always be an anxious question to us, whether our prayer is a prayer which God will receive.

We often pray best when we stammer and stutter–and we often pray worst when words flow articulately one after another! God is not moved by¬†eloquent prayers–they are but¬†empty noise¬†to Him. He is only moved by sincere emotions which dwell in the innermost heart.¬†

For a man to bend his knees and utter the¬†hypocritical language of affection¬†to God which he never feels in his heart–is little short of blaspheming God! We must have very light thoughts of God, when we try to deceive Him with such prayers as these!

I often say my prayers
But do I ever pray?
And do the wishes of my heart
Go with the words I say?

I may as well kneel down
And worship gods of stone,
As offer to the living God
A prayer of words alone.

For words without the heart
The Lord will never hear;
Nor will He to those lips attend
Whose prayers are not sincere.
   John Burton, 1803-1877

He has a perfect knowledge of all His subjects!

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He has a perfect knowledge of all His subjects!

(William Dyer, “Christ’s Famous Titles“)

Oh, brethren, earthly kings and princes do not know all their subjects; nay, they know very few. Alas! they do not know a quarter of them! They are not acquainted with all the troubles, and needs, and miseries that their poor subjects lie under. 

The Lord Jesus infinitely excels all other kings–in that¬†He has a perfect knowledge of all His subjects!¬†He knows them all by name. He knows . . .
  all their thoughts,
  all their needs,
  all their ways,
  all their conditions. 

So say I to you, brethren, Your King knows . . .
  all your necessities,

  all your sufferings, 
  all your troubles,
  all your fears!

Yes, and “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus!” Philippians 4:19.¬†Oh, this is a sweet Scripture!

Oh, poor souls, Christ knows everything about you! This is our great happiness, that we have a King who knows us so well. Oh, here is the excellency of our King!


Lord, let me be a pure stream

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Lord, let me be a pure stream

(Thomas Sherman, “Divine Breathings; Or, a Pious Soul Thirsting after Christ”)

Jordan, that famous river, no doubt runs through many a pleasant meadow, by many a shady grove and flowery bank; and yet at last empties itself into the Dead Sea. 

So it is with a wicked man! Here on earth he walks through meadows of worldly pleasures, and rests under the shades of earthly comforts, and sports and wallows among the flowers of worldly delights–but at last runs himself¬†down into the Dead Sea of Hell.And not only so–but . . .
  his earthly delights will fade,
  his beauty shall be turned into horror,
  his honor shall be turned into shame,
  his lusts shall be turned into tormentors, and
  his pleasures shall be turned into bitterness! 

Lord, let me be a pure stream
, that I may terminate in Heaven! I care not what difficult channels I pass through here on earth–if in Heaven I may exchange my weakness and corruption, for perfection and glory!


A comfortable nest for us!

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A comfortable nest for us!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“I thought:¬†Surely I shall die in my nest!”¬†Job 29:18

God has never meant this world to be¬†a comfortable nest for us. If we try to make it such for ourselves–He will plant¬†thorns¬†in it so that we may be compelled to mount and find our soul’s true home somewhere else, in a higher and nobler sphere than this poor world can give!

“Arise and depart, for this is not your rest; because it is polluted!” Micah 2:10


Hands up, everyone who has a Bible!

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Hands up, everyone who has a Bible!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“His¬†delight¬†is in the law of the Lord,¬†and on His law he¬†meditates¬†day and night!”¬†Psalm 1:2

If I were to say, “Hands up, everyone who has a Bible!“–everybody’s hands here would go up, as I suppose that nobody here is without a Bible.¬†

But if I were to ask, “How many here, as a habit and a delight,¬†meditate¬†upon the Scriptures?”–I wonder how many hands would be raised? Well, I will not ask you that question, but let everybody ask it for himself and judge himself concerning it in the sight of God.

Lord, give us a Bible reading, Bible loving people!

Pray our Beloved to print the image of His bleeding self upon the tablets of our hearts!

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Pray our Beloved to print the image of His bleeding self upon the tablets of our hearts!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“He was¬†despised¬†and¬†rejected¬†by men, a man of¬†sorrows, and familiar with¬†suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces He was¬†despised, and we esteemed Him not. Surely He took up our infirmities and carried our¬†sorrows–yet we considered Him¬†stricken¬†by God,¬†smitten¬†by Him, and¬†afflicted. He was¬†pierced¬†for our transgressions, He was¬†crushed¬†for our iniquities; the¬†punishment¬†that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His¬†wounds¬†we are healed.” Isaiah 53:3-5¬†

Pilate delivered our Lord to the lictors to be scourged. The Roman scourge was a most dreadful instrument of torture. It was made of the sinews of oxen, and sharp bones were intertwined among the sinews; so that every time the lash came down, these pieces of bone inflicted fearful laceration and tore off the flesh from the bone. The Savior was, no doubt, bound to the whipping post and thus beaten. He had been beaten before; but this flagellation of the Roman lictors was probably the most severe of His scourgings.

My soul, stand here and weep over His poor stricken body!
 Believer, can you gaze upon Him without tears as He stands before you, the mirror of agonizing love? He is at once as white as the lily for innocence, and as red as the rose with the crimson of His own blood. 

As we feel the sure and blessed healing that His stripes have wrought in us–does not our heart melt at once with love and grief? If ever we have loved our Lord Jesus, surely we must feel that affection glowing now within our bosoms.

We would be compelled to go to our chambers and weep, but our business calls us away. So we will first pray our Beloved to print the image of His bleeding self upon the tablets of our hearts all the day; and at nightfall we will return to commune with Him and sorrow that our sin should have cost Him so dearly!

God’s grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of believers!

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God’s grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of believers!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“But He said to me: ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10¬†

If none of God’s saints were poor and tried, we would not know¬†the consolations of divine grace¬†half so well.¬†

When we find the¬†wanderer¬†who does not have a place to lay his head, who yet can say, “Still I will trust in the Lord”; when we see the¬†pauper¬†starving on bread and water, who still glories in Jesus; when we see the¬†bereaved widow¬†overwhelmed in affliction, and yet relying on Christ–oh what honor it reflects on the Gospel.¬†

God’s grace is illustrated and magnified in the poverty and trials of believers!

Saints bear up under every discouragement, believing that all things work together for their good, and that out of apparent evils a real blessing shall ultimately spring. They know that their God will either work a deliverance for them speedily–or most assuredly support them in the trouble, as long as He is pleased to keep them in it. This perseverance of the saints proves the power of divine grace.

He who would glorify God, must reckon upon meeting with many trials. No man can be illustrious before the Lord, unless his conflicts are many. If then yours is a much-tried path, rejoice in it because you will better show forth the all-sufficient grace of God. As for His failing you, never dream of it–hate the thought. The God who has been sufficient until now, should be trusted to the end.

“No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:11¬†

CONTENTMENT

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CONTENTMENT

(John Mason’s Spiritual Sayings)
 

**The deeper your self-abhorrence–the easier is self-resignation.¬†

**Those who know they deserve nothing, will be content with anything.


**We must commit our souls to God’s keeping, and submit ourselves to God’s disposing.¬†


**We should obey His revealed will, and then be resigned to His providential will.

 

**Neither contentment nor discontentment arises from the outward condition, but from the inward disposition. 

**If a man is not content in the state he is in–then he will not be content in any state he would be in.
  

“I have learned to be¬†content¬†whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being¬†content¬†in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:11-13

The sword of His pure, infinite and incensed wrath!

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The sword of His pure, infinite and incensed wrath!

(Thomas Brooks, “The Golden Key to Open Hidden Treasures”)

“Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer.” Isaiah 53:10¬†

To see God thrust¬†the sword of His pure, infinite and incensed wrath¬†through the very heart of His dearest Son, notwithstanding all His supplications, prayers, tears, and strong cries–is the highest manifestation of the¬†Lord’s hatred and indignation of sin–which ever was, or ever will be!

It is true, God revealed His great hatred against sin . . . 
  by casting the angels down to hell, 
  by turning Adam out of paradise,
  by drowning the old world, and
  by raining hell out of heaven upon Sodom and Gomorrah, 
and by the various and dreadful judgments which He has been a-pouring forth upon the world in all ages. But all this hatred is butan emblem¬†of hatred–compared to that hatred which God manifested against sin, in causing the¬†whole curse¬†to meet upon our crucified Lord!

It is true that God reveals His hatred of sin by those endless, easeless, and remediless torments, which He inflicts upon devils and damned men. But this is¬†no hatred–compared to that hatred against sin, which God revealed when He opened all the floodgates of His envenomed wrath upon His¬†Son–His¬†own¬†Son, His¬†only¬†Son, His Son who always pleased Him.

Suppose there was a father who had but one son–and he was such a son in whom he always delighted, and by whom he had never been provoked. Now suppose you should you see this father inflicting the most intensified pains and punishments, tortures and torments, calamities and miseries upon this, his dearest son. Would you not wonder at the cause of the father’s exercising such amazing, such matchless severity, fury and cruelty upon his only beloved son?

Now cast your eye upon the actings of God the Father towards Jesus Christ–and you will find that He has inflicted more and greater torments upon the Son of His dearest love–than all mortals ever have or could inflict upon others. God made all the penalties and sufferings that were due to us–to fall upon Jesus Christ. God Himself inflicted upon dear Jesus, whatever was requisite to the satisfying of His justice, to the obtaining of pardon, and to the saving of all His elect!

“He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him, and by His wounds we are healed.” Isaiah 53:5

Are we Christians–or are we worldlings?

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Are we Christians–or are we worldlings?

(Horatius Bonar, “Self-Denial Christianity”)

“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion!”¬†Amos 6:1

What do we say to . . .
  our self-indulgence,
  our spiritual sloth,
  our love of ease,
  our avoidance of hardship,
  our luxury,
  our pampering of the body,
  our costly feasts,
  our silken couches,
  our brilliant furniture,
  our gay attire,
  our expensive jewelry,
  our idle mirth,
  our voluptuous music,
  our jovial tables, loaded with every variety of rich viands?

Are we Christians–or are we worldlings?

Where is the self-denial of the New Testament days?

Where is the¬†separation from a self-pleasing luxurious world?¬†Where is the¬†cross, the true badge of discipleship, to be seen–except in useless religious ornaments for the body, or worse than useless decorations for the sanctuary?

“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion!”
¬†Is not this the description of multitudes who name the name of Christ? They may not be “living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry.” But even where these are absent, there is ‘high living’–luxury of the table or the wardrobe–in conformity to this present evil world.

“At ease in Zion!”¬†Yes! there is the shrinking . . .
  from hard service;
  from spending and being spent;
  from toil and burden-bearing and conflict;
  from self-sacrifice and noble service;
for the Master’s sake.

There is conformity to the world, instead of conformity to Christ!
There is a laying down of the cross, instead of a taking up of the cross. 
Or there is a lining of the cross with velvet, lest it should gall our shoulders as we carry it! 
Or there is an adorning of the cross, that it may suite the taste and the manners of our refined and intellectual age.

Anything but the bare, rugged and simple cross!

We think that we can make the¬†strait gate¬†wider, and the¬†narrow way¬†broader–so as to be able to walk more comfortably to the heavenly kingdom. We try to prove that modern enlightenment has so refined ‘the world and its pleasures’, that we may safely drink¬†the poisoned cup, and give ourselves up to the inebriation of the siren song.

“At ease in Zion!”¬†Even when the walls of our city are besieged, and the citadel is being stormed!

Instead of grasping our weapons, we lie down upon our couches!

Instead of the armor, we put on the silken robe!

We are cowards, when we should be brave!

We are faint-hearted, when we should be bold!

We are lukewarm, when we should be fervent!

We are cold, when we should be full of zeal!

We¬†compromise¬†and¬†shuffle¬†and¬†make excuses–when we should lift up our voice like a trumpet! We pare down truth, or palliate error, or extenuate sin–in order to placate the world, or suit the spirit of the age, or ‘unify’ the Church.

Learn self-denying Christianity. Not the form or name, but the living thing. 

Let us renounce the lazy, luxurious, self-pleasing, fashionable religion of the present day!

A¬†self-indulgent religion¬†has nothing in common with the¬†cross¬†of the Lord Jesus Christ; or with that cross of ours which He has commanded us to take up and carry after Him–renouncing ease and denying self.

Our time,
our abilities,
our money,
our strength–
are all to be laid upon the altar.

“Woe to those who are at ease in Zion!”
 Amos 6:1

See the hand of God in all the barbarisms and incivilities of men!

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See the hand of God in all the barbarisms and incivilities of men!

(Thomas Watson)

“The Almighty has afflicted me!” Ruth 1:21

“The cup which My Father has given Me, shall I not drink it?” John 18:11

All the injuries and unkind treatments we meet with from others, do not come to us by chance, but are ordained by the all-wise God for our good. 

Many are like the foolish cur that snarls at the¬†stick, never looking to the¬†hand¬†that swung it. If we looked higher than instruments, our hearts would grow meek and calm. Instruments can no more stir until God gives them a commission–than the ax can cut by itself without a hand. David looked beyond Shimei’s rage: “Let him curse, for the Lord has bidden him!” 2 Samuel 16:11¬†

What wisdom for Christians–to¬†see the hand of God in all the barbarisms and incivilities of men!¬†Job eyed God in his affliction, and that meekened his spirit: “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 1:21. He does not say, The¬†Chaldeans¬†have taken away–but “The¬†Lord¬†has taken away.”

Whoever brings an affliction, it is God who sends it.

“God has sovereign right to dispose of us as He pleases. We ought to acquiesce in all that God does with us and to us.” William Carey

“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider: God has made the one as well as the other!” Ecclesiastes 7:14¬†

“Shall we poor worms give laws to our supreme Lord and Governor, and oblige Him always to bless and favor us, and never to afflict us?” Matthew Poole

“What? Should we accept only good things from the hand of God, and never anything bad?” Job 2:10¬†

Christian joy!

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Christian joy!

Author unknown, 1872)

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again, Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4¬†

Just so, “sorrowful, yet always rejoicing,” says Paul, speaking of his own experience.¬†

The believer’s joy does not exclude sorrow, but . . .
  attends it,
  sustains under it,
  and raises above it. 

Joy in the Lord should be constant–for He is the same.¬†
There is as much ground for joy in Him in the¬†winter of adversity–as in the¬†summer of prosperity.¬†
He is as good when he¬†chides¬†us–as when He¬†comforts¬†us.¬†
He is as gracious when He lays us low–as when He raises us up.¬†
He is as kind when He takes away–as when He gives.¬†

If our joy springs chiefly from creature good and agreeable circumstances–then it must be fluctuating at the best, and at times it will entirely dry up. But if our chief joy is in God, then the spring of it never fails!

“When all created streams are dried,
¬†His fullness is the same!”

Observe, my soul, that joy in the Lord is not only encouraged–but¬†commanded.¬†
After once giving the admonition, the apostle says, “Again I say, Rejoice.”¬†

The Lord would have His children . . .
  happy in His love, 
  restful under the shelter of His wings, 
  and peaceful in the midst of storms. 

Seek then to know more of Him, live upon His fullness, dwell on His unchanging grace–and so will you be joyful in Him even in the midst of tribulation!

The root upon which our blessings grow

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The root upon which our blessings grow

(Charles Naylor)
  
“Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried” Daniel 12:10

All Christians desire to be¬†purified¬†and¬†made white–but when it comes to being¬†tried, that is a very different thing. They shrink from the very word. Their trials are to them as a nightmare from which they would gladly escape. But trials are a necessary part of God’s process of preparing us for Heaven.¬†

The storms and obstacles in our lives, all work out for out good if we meet them as we should. Through them, our lives are enriched and ennobled and developed. They are blessings to us, though they may seem to be blessings very much disguised.

Life has both its bitter and its sweet. We should not always expect to have the sweet alone. Sometimes circumstances are in our favor, and work for our happiness, peace and contentment. Sometimes we have smooth sailing, and everything goes pleasantly. We are courageous and confident and rejoicing. The sun shines brightly out of a cloudless sky, and every prospect seems fair.

But this¬†smooth sailing¬†does not last forever. Sooner or later, the¬†clouds¬†must come and the storm-winds beat upon us. We must have the rough weather–as well as the pleasant weather; the storm–as well as the calm.¬†

The sunshine and the calm are very needful in life–and they work out a definite purpose.¬†
But the¬†storms¬†and the¬†rain¬†and the¬†wind¬†are likewise needed–and they also fulfill their purpose.¬†

Trials will come–we cannot evade them. We may plan and build up hopes–only to have our air-castles come crashing down around our heads! If we have set our hearts upon these things, we are likely to be very disappointed upon their wreck, and to feel very gloomy over the result.

How greatly we are affected by our trials, depends on whether or not we sweetly submit to them. We should never fret on account of disappointments. If we do, they will only grow more rapidly, both in size and in intensity.

Losses¬†may come to us–our property may be swept away or burned up. If we have our hearts set upon our possessions–then this may touch a tender spot, and it will darken our lives and make us morose and dissatisfied.¬†

Poverty may come and the many difficulties incident thereto. 

Sickness may lay its heavy hand upon us or our loved ones, and try every fiber of our being. Sickness may play upon the chords of pain, a lamentation that incites with exquisite torture! Or it may fire our blood with fever until the sparkle has gone from the eye and the glow of health from the cheek. Or it may bind us helplessly captive in chains. 

Death¬†may come and take those dear by the ties of nature or friendship–and leave sorrow and grief to be our companions.

These things try the soul, but they must be borne. We cannot escape such things, for they are the common heritage of those who dwell in tabernacles of clay. They belong to mortality and to the mutable things of time. How greatly such things may affect us, will depend upon how much we rebel against the circumstances–or how easily we submit to and adapt ourselves to God’s will. God may chasten you sorely, but He will do it for your profit, not for your destruction.

Our trials are¬†the root upon which our blessings grow. These¬†roots¬†may be bitter–but the¬†fruit¬†is sure to be sweet, if we patiently wait for its maturing. Many choice fruits grow on thorny trees, and he who will gather the fruit, may expect to be pricked now and then by the thorns.

We cannot escape trials. The only thing some Christians do by rebelling, is to increase their suffering in the trials and prevent themselves from getting the blessedness out of them. 

We ought to be willing to suffer when it is God’s will for us to suffer, and when He sees it is necessary for us to suffer. Our Master drank the¬†cup of suffering, even though it was bitter. Are we better than He?¬†Shall we refuse to go by the path which led Him to glory?

The difference between the godly and the ungodly

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The difference between the godly and the ungodly

(James Meikle, “The Traveler” June 14, 1758)

There is a wide difference in both principle and practice, between the the godly and the ungodly. 

The affections of the godly are spiritually refined–and their desires are exalted.¬†
The inclinations of the ungodly are corrupt–and their desires are groveling.¬†

Sin has but a tottering standing, and a momentary abode–in the godly.¬†
But sin has fixed its throne, and taken up its eternal residence–in the ungodly.¬†

In the godly, grace and sin struggle for sovereignty. 
In the ungodly, sin domineers and there is no struggle. 

The godly is deeply concerned about world to come. 
The ungodly has no concern about eternal realities. 

The speech of the godly is seasoned with grace. 
The discourse of the ungodly is insipid and vain. 

The godly has his hope fixed on God. 
The ungodly has no fear of God before his eyes. 

The godly use the world without abusing it. 
The ungodly, in using the world, abuse both themselves and it. 

The godly sees God in his daily life, and rejoices in Him with his whole heart. 
The ungodly says in his practice: “There is no God!” and wishes in his heart that there were no God.¬†

The godly adores the Creator above all else. 
The ungodly worships the ‘creature’ more than the Creator.

The godly uses God’s name with profoundest reverence, and departs from iniquity.¬†
The ungodly profanes God’s name with impudence, and adds iniquity to sin.¬†

The godly redeems his time. 
The ungodly trifles away his time. 

The godly studies his duty in obedience to all God’s precepts.¬†
The ungodly shakes himself loose from every command of God. 

The godly forgives his foes. 
The ungodly lays a snare for his foes. 

The godly commits it to God to avenge wrongs done to him. 
The ungodly, fiery and tumultuous–seeks revenge.¬†

The godly loves purity in all things. 
The ungodly wallows in impurity. 

The godly is content with his condition. 
The ungodly covets all the day long. 

The godly is pure in heart. 
The heart of the ungodly is like a cage full of unclean birds. 

The godly walks at liberty in the ways of God. 
The ungodly is the servant and slave of sin. 

The Holy Spirit rules in the heart of the godly. 
Satan rules in the heart of the ungodly. 

The godly has his citizenship in Heaven. 
The ungodly has his citizenship in Hell. 

As there is such a wide difference in their¬†principles¬†and¬†practices–so also, in their¬†eternal destinies.¬†
God is faithful–He has promised felicity to the pious, and threatened vengeance to the wicked.¬†
“The wicked is thrust out in his wickedness; but the righteous has hope in his death.” Proverbs 14:32

The godly are under the blessing of God’s love.¬†
The ungodly are under the curse of God’s justice.¬†

The godly with joy, draw water out of the wells of salvation. 
The ungodly shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty. 

To the godly, pertain all the exceeding great and precious promises. 
To the ungodly, pertain all the threatenings of God. 

Heaven shall be the palace of the godly! 
Hell shall be the prison of the ungodly! 

While the godly shall dwell through eternity with God, 
the ungodly shall be driven away into everlasting darkness! 

Thus, the righteous and wicked are separated in their life, and divided in their death. They are divided . . .
  in their principles,
  in their practices, 
  in their choices,
  in their joys, 
  in their thoughts, 
  in their company,
  in their speech,
  in their fears,
  in their expectations, 
  in their death, and
  through eternity itself!

The awesome, holy, glorious beauty of Christ!

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The awesome, holy, glorious beauty of Christ!

(Charles Spurgeon)

Come here gracious souls, and behold the Man in the garden of Gethsemane. 

Behold His heart so brimming with love that He cannot hold it in–so full of sorrow that it must find a vent.¬†

Behold the Man as they drive the nails into His hands and feet. 

Look up and see the sorrowful ravishing image of your suffering Lord. 

If we would live right, it must be by the contemplation of His death. 

If we would rise to dignity, it must be by considering His humiliation and His sorrow.

The sight of Christ’s loveliness, and that alone–shows the soul its own ugliness.

The sense of the awesome, holy, glorious beauty of Christ kills pride and humbles the soul.

“Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!” Song of Solomon 5:16

I have just been informed of the loss of your dear wife

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I have just been informed of the loss of your dear wife

(Letters of John Berridge)

Dear friend,
I have just been informed of the loss of your dear wife. She was mortal–but she has now become immortal! Should this cause you to grieve immoderately?¬†O that I was where she is now!

“Safe landed on that peaceful shore,¬†
¬†Where pilgrims meet to part no more.”¬†

She was once a mourning sinner in the wilderness–but is now a glorified saint in Zion! The Lord has become her “everlasting light, and the days of her mourning are ended!” She was once afflicted with bodily pains and weakness, encompassed with family cares, and harassed with a crowd of anxious, needless fears. She is now arrived at her Father’s house! Jesus has wiped away all tears from her eyes, and freed her in a moment from pain, and care, and fear, and want! Shall this make you sorrow, as those who have no hope?

You have not left your wife–she has only left you for a little moment. She has left her husband on earth–to dwell with her glorious Father in Heaven. She expects your arrival there soon, to join her¬†Hallelujahs¬†for redeeming love.

And are you still weeping? Weeping because your wife can weep no more; weeping because she is happy–eternally, gloriously happy? Are you weeping because she is joined to the blessed assembly where all are kings and priests–weeping, because she is where you would be, and long to be eternally?¬†

The Lord Jesus has called her home to His kingdom, to draw your soul more ardently thither! He has broken up a¬†cistern–to bring you nearer, and keep you closer to the overflowing¬†fountain¬†of all felicity!

“Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.
 The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat.
 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their Shepherd;
 He will lead them to springs of living water.
¬†And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes!” Revelation 7:16-17¬†

Pilfering of another’s time

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Pilfering of another’s time

(Hannah More)

“Redeeming the time.”¬†Ephesians 5:16

Christians should especially be on their guard against a spirit of idleness, and a slovenly habitual wasting of time. We must guard against a habitual frivolousness at home; and an abundance of unprofitable small-talk, idle reading, inane drowsiness, and a dull frittering away of time.

We must seriously consider: what a large portion of life we have unwisely squandered; what days and nights we have wasted, if not sinfully–yet selfishly; if not loaded with evil–yet destitute of good. In the day of judgment, the thin disguise which our treacherous heart now casts over indolence and sloth, will then be torn off.

We are guilty of the strange inconsistency of being most wasteful of what we best love–and of throwing away what we most fear to lose–that TIME of which life is made up. It is not so much a¬†lack¬†of time–as a¬†wasting¬†of our time–which prevents life from answering all the ends for which God has given it to us. Few things make us so useful in the world, as the prudent use of our precious time.¬†

We should not only be careful not to waste¬†our own¬†time–but that¬†others¬†do not rob us of it! The “stealing of our purse” is a serious wrong to us. But the “stealing of our time” should grieve us even more!¬†Pilfering of another’s time¬†is a felony for which no restitution can be made–for time is not only invaluable, but irrecoverable!

Every particle of time is valuable. No day can be insignificant–when¬†every¬†day is to be¬†accounted¬†for. Each one possesses weight and importance. What a scene will open upon us, when, from our eternal state–we shall look back on the use we have made of¬†time–when we shall take a clear retrospect of all we¬†have¬†done,¬†and all we¬†ought¬†to have done!

“Almighty God, I adore Your infinite patience, which has not cut me off in the midst of my follies. Let me no longer abuse that precious treasure,¬†time. Let me bid adieu to all those vain amusements, those trifling entertainments and sinful diversions–which have robbed me of many valuable hours. Let me no longer waste my time in ease and pleasure, in unprofitable studies and conversation; but grant, that by moderation and temperance in my enjoyments, I may be able to give a good account of it in the day of judgment, and be accepted in and through the merits of Jesus Christ, my only mediator and advocate. Amen.”

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

Upon that short time, eternity depends!

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Upon that short time, eternity depends!

(Jeremy Taylor)

“You sweep men away in the sleep of death; they are like the new grass of the morning–though in the morning it springs up new, by evening it is dry and withered.” Psalm 90:5-6¬†

“The length of our days is seventy years–or eighty, if we have the strength; yet their span is but trouble and sorrow, for they quickly pass, and we fly away.” Psalm 90:10¬†

God has given to man a short time here on earth–and yet¬†upon that short time, eternity depends!

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

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