Tag Archives: Christian Life

The master-key which fits the locks!

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The master-key which fits the locks!

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

“The LORD did not set His love on you nor choose you because you were more in number than any other people, for you were the least of all peoples; but because the LORD loved you!” Deuteronomy 7:7-8 

My gracious God, there is a honeycomb of delight and sweetness in these words! Will You put the rod of faith into my hand, this morning, and enable me to dip the end thereof into this rich provision, that my soul may eat and be satisfied, and that the eyes of my understanding may be enlightened?

“Because the Lord loved you!” 
This is His great “reason” for all of God’s dealings with His redeemed people. It is a full and convincing answer to all the doubts and questionings with which Satan can perplex and distress the Lord’s timid ones. The enemy of souls has, alas! a powerful confederate in the wicked unbelief which lurks within us; but they will both be vanquished when we have learned to use this weapon of war against them.

Come, my heart, try its blessed force and quality at this moment! The foe says, “Why does God send you affliction, and sorrow, and suffering — when those who do not fear His Name have continual quietness and abounding prosperity?”

If you can boldly answer, “It is because the Lord loves me!” then you will have given him such a sword-thrust as will free you, for a time, at least, from his cunning devices and fierce onslaughts.

Or, look at the text as a shaft of sunlight, piercing through a chink in the shuttered window of some dark experience. Bring your fears and forebodings out of their dusky corners, and place them within the radiance of this light of love — you will be amazed to see them transformed into confident trusts — your doubts will vanish as if they had never been, and the evil and bitter things of life will all be transformed into blessings in a moment. 

“Because the Lord loved you!” is the master-key which fits the locks of the hardest question, and opens the mysteries of the deepest problem! It is a charm of wondrous efficacy, and every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ may not only rejoice in its possession — but use it constantly to obtain all the desire of his heart in spiritual things.

What ails you, poor soul?
 Is it loss of health, or friends, or means? Has God taken from you some dearly-loved one, and left you alone on this sad earth? Is He trying and proving you, by many and varied tests and troubles, “to know what was in your heart”? Whatever may be your immediate and peculiar sorrow, if you have grace and faith enough to say, “This is because the Lord loves me!” — then I dare to promise you that all the bitterness of the affliction will melt away — and the peace of God will fill you with a sweet contentment which surpasses understanding. No distress can withstand such Divine solace, no anguish can refuse the relief of this balm of Gilead. If all that happens to you can be traced directly or indirectly to the hand of your loving Lord — then how gladly should you bear life’s burdens, and how perfect should be the rest in which heart and mind should dwell!

O gracious Master, looking back over the years that are gone — the interminglings of grief and gladness, pass before my eyes as the clouds sail by on an April day. And though the memories of great affliction and sore bereavement cast deep shadows across the scene, and seem for a time to blot out all the brightness — yet, above and beyond those changeful skies — the sun has never ceased shining, and darkness as well as day has proclaimed the immutability of Your love. When the ears of my soul are attuned to catch the soft whisper of Your voice, I hear You saying: “All this, My child, was because I loved you! Left to yourself; you would have destroyed yourself; but in Me was your help found. All the tribulations you have endured, were but My servants to whom I entrusted the necessary discipline of your earthly life. Do not forget those words of Mine: As many as I love — I rebuke and chasten!”

Our thorn!

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Our thorn!

(J. R. Miller, “The Blossoming of Our Thorns” 1905)

“To keep me from getting puffed up, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me and keep me from getting proud.” 2 Corinthians 12:7

We do not know how much of Paul’s rich, beautiful life, and his noble work for his Master — he owed to his thorn. Just so, we do not know how much we are indebted to our sufferings and sorrows. Our richest lessons — are the fruit of pain, of weakness, of sorrow.

There is not one of us who has not his own thorn. With one it may be a bodily infirmity or weakness. With another it is some disfigurement which cannot be removed. It may be some difficulty in circumstances, something which makes it hard to live beautifully. 

The Master told Paul that his thorn was necessary to him — to save him from becoming proud. We may think of our thorn, too — as something we need. Instead of allowing it to irritate us or to spoil our life — its mission is to make us sweet, patient, loving. Many people beseech the Lord to take away their thorn. Yet it may be, that the prayer is not answered, will not be answered, should not be answered. It may be, that the thorn is necessary to keep them humble at God’s feet.

God sends some of our best blessings to us in our thorns, and it will be a sad thing if we thrust them away and miss them.

The time has come for my departure!

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The time has come for my departure!

(James Smith, “The Better Land”)

The time has come for my departure! I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day!” 2 Timothy 4:6-8 

Aged believer, the time of your departure will soon come! Do not let your mind be troubled as to . . .
  where you shall die,
  when you shall die,
  or how you shall die!
These are all minor matters — and ought not to affect you. 

Simply look at death as Jesus did: “Jesus knew that the time had come for Him to leave this world — and go to His Father!” John 13:1 

Why should you regret to leave a poor world like this — where sin, sorrow, pain, grief, disappointment, and anxiety meet you at every turn? Why should you be reluctant to go HOME — to go to your Father? 
Do you not want to see His face? 
Do you not want to enjoy His company? 
Do you not want to be perfectly happy in His presence?

I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far!” Philippians 1:23 

Desiring God!

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Desiring God!

(Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”)

“Whom have I in Heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You!” Psalm 73:25 

We may know the kingdom of grace is set up in our hearts — by having true desires after God. By the beating of this pulse — we conclude there is life

A true desire after God is sincere. We desire God for Himself, for His intrinsic excellencies. The savor of the ointment of Christ’s gracesdraws the virgins’ desires after Him. Canticles 1:3. A true saint desires Him not only for what God has — but for what He is; not only for His rewards — but for His holiness. No hypocrite can thus desire God. He may desire God for His jewels — but not for His beauty!

A true desire after God is insatiable. It cannot be satisfied without God; let the world heap her honors and riches — they will not satisfy. No flowers or music will content him who is thirsty. Just so, nothing will quench the soul’s thirst — but the blood of Christ! He faints away, his heart breaks with longing for God. Psalm 84:2; Psalm 119:20

A true desire after God is active. It flourishes into endeavor. “With my soul have I desired you in the night — yes, with my spirit within me will I seek You early.” Isaiah 26:9. A soul that desires aright says, “I must have Christ! I must have grace! I must have Heaven, though I take it by storm!”

A true desire after God is supreme. We desire Christ, not only more than the world — but more than Heaven! “Whom have I in Heaven but You?” Psalm 73:25. Heaven itself would not satisfy — without Christ. Christ is the diamond in the ring of glory! 

A true desire after God is increasing. A little of God will not satisfy — but the pious soul desires still more. A drop of water is not enough for the thirsty traveler. Though a Christian is thankful for the least degree of grace — yet he is not satisfied with the greatest degree of grace. He still thirsts for more of Christ, and His Spirit. A saint would have more knowledge, more sanctity, more of Christ’s presence. A glimpse of Christ through the lattice of an ordinance is sweet; but the soul will never stop longing — until it sees Him face to face! It desires to have grace perfected in glory! It desires to be wholly plunged into the sweetness of God. We would be swallowed up in God, and be forever bathing ourselves in those perfumed waters of pleasure which run at His right hand!

Surely this sincere desire after God is a blessed sign that the kingdom of grace has come into our hearts. The beating of this pulse shows life! Desires for God — are from God. If iron moves upwards contrary to its nature — it is a sign some magnet has been drawing it. Just so, if the soul moves towards God in sincere desires — it is a sign the magnet of the Spirit has been drawing it!

“He fulfills the desires of those who fear Him.” Psalm 145:19


This is too much!

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This is too much!

(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

Only to be permitted to contemplate such a being as Jehovah . . .
  to ponder goodness, holiness, justice, mercy, patience and sovereignty — personified and condensed;
  to ponder them united with eternity, infinite power, unerring wisdom, omnipresence, and all sufficiency;
  to ponder all these natural and moral perfections indissolubly united and blended in sweet harmony — in one pure, spiritual being, and that being placed on the throne of the universe
 — to ponder this would be happiness enough to fill the mind of any creature in existence! 

But in addition to this, 
  to have this ineffable Being for my God, my portion, my all; 
  to be permitted to say, “This God is my God forever and ever!” 
  to have His resplendent countenance smile upon me;
  to be encircled in His everlasting arms of power and faithfulness and love;
  to hear His voice saying to me, “I am yours — and you are Mine! Nothing shall ever pluck you from My hands, or separate you from My love — but you shall be with Me where I am, behold My glory, and live to reign with Me forever and ever!” 

This is too much! It is honor, it is glory — it is happiness too overwhelming, too transporting for mortal minds to conceive, or for mortal frames to support!

True comfort!

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True  comfort! 
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon, “Concerning the Consolations of God” Job 15:11. 

Christian, are you hoping to find true comfort in the world? Will you be happy if you manage to get that position? if you pass that examination? if you save so much money? I beseech you, do not play the fool; there is no consolation in all this. 

There is no satisfaction to be found in the greatest worldly success; millionaires, statesmen, and princes all dissatisfied. The richest men have often been the most miserable, and those who have succeeded best in rising to places of honor have been worn out in the pursuit, and disgusted with the prize. 

Wealth brings care, honor earns envy, position entails toil, and rank has its annoyances. 

One of our richest men once said, “I suppose you imagine I am happy, because I am rich. Why, a dozen times in a year, and oftener, some fellow threatens to shoot me if I do not give him what he wants. Do you suppose that this makes me a happy man?” 

Believe me, the world is as barren of joy as the Sahara. 

Vain is the hope of finding a spring of consolation in anything beneath the moon. 

Seek the kingdom of God, and his righteousness. 
  

The religion of JOY

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The religion of JOY 
(Octavius Winslow, “The Sympathy of Christ”) 
The religion of Christ is the religion of JOY. Christ came to take away our sins, to roll off our curse, to unbind our chains, to open our prison house, to cancel our debt; in a word, to give us the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Is  not this joy? Where can we find a joy so real, so deep, so pure, so lasting? There is every element of joy; deep, ecstatic, satisfying, sanctifying joy in the gospel of Christ. The believer in Jesus is essentially a happy man. The child of God is, from necessity, a joyful man. His sins are forgiven, his soul is justified, his person is adopted, his trials are blessings, his conflicts are victories, his death is immortality, his future is a heaven of inconceivable, unthought of, untold, and endless blessedness. With such a God, such a Savior, and such a hope, is he not, ought he not, to be a joyful man? 
  

Fly to the Word of God!

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Fly to the Word of God! 
(from “The Preciousness of God’s Word” by Octavius Winslow) 

As a system of ‘consolation’ Christianity has no equal. No other religion in the wide world touches the hidden springs of the soul, or reaches the lowest depths of human sorrow, but the religion of Christ. 

When your hearts have been overwhelmed, when adversity has wrapped you within its gloomy pall, when the broken billows of grief have swollen and surged around your soul, how have you fled to the Scriptures of truth for succor and support, for guidance and comfort! Nor have you repaired to them in vain. “The God of all comfort” is He who speaks in this Word, and there is no word of comfort like that which He speaks. 

The adaptation of His truth to the varied, the peculiar and personal trials and sorrows of His Church, is one of the strongest proofs of its divinity. Take to the Word of God whatever sorrow you may, go with whatever mental beclouding, with whatever spirit sadness, with whatever heart grief; whatever be its character, its complexion, its depth unsurpassed in the history of human sorrow, there is consolation and support in the Word of God for your 
mind. 

God will not leave you in trouble, but will sustain you in it, will bring you out of, and sanctify you by it, to the endless glory and praise of His great and precious name! 

Christian mourner, let me once more direct your eye too dimmed perhaps by tears to behold this divine source of true, unfailing comfort. God’s Word is the book of the afflicted. Written to unfold the wondrous history of the “Man of Sorrows,” it would seem to have been equally written for you, 0 child of grief! God speaks to your sad and sorrowing heart from every page of this sacred volume, with words of comfort, loving, gentle, and persuasive as a mother’s. “As one whom his mother comforts, so will I comfort you.” 

The Bible is the opening of the heart of God. It is God’s heart unveiled, each throb inviting the mourner, the poor in spirit, the widow, the fatherless, the bereaved, the persecuted, the sufferer, yes, every child of affliction and grief to the asylum and sympathy, the protection and soothing of His heart. Oh, thank God for the comfort and consolation of the Scripture! Open it with what sorrow and burden and perplexity you may, be it the guilt of sin, the pressure of trial, or the corrodings of sorrow, it speaks to the heart such words of comfort as God only could speak. 

Have you ever borne your grief to God’s Word, especially to the experimental Psalms of David, and not felt that it was written for that particular sorrow? You have found your grief more accurately portrayed, your state of mind more truly described, and your case more exactly and fully met, probably in a single history, chapter, or verse, than in all the human treatises that the pen of man ever wrote. 

Fly to the Word of God, then, in every sorrow! You will know more of the mind and heart of God than you, perhaps, ever learned in all the schools before. Draw, then, O child of sorrow, your consolation from God’s Word. Oh, clasp this precious Word of comfort to your sorrowful heart, and exclaim, “It is mine! The Jesus of whom it speaks is mine, the salvation it reveals is mine, the promises it contains are mine, the heaven it unveils is mine, and all the consolation, comfort, and sympathy which wells up from these hidden springs, is MINE.” 
  

Why Christ offends men

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Why Christ offends men
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“Unbelievers stumbling; Believers rejoicing”

There are some who stumble at Christ because of his holiness.

He is too strict for them; they would like to be Christians,
but they cannot renounce their sensual pleasures; they
would like to be washed in his blood, but they desire still
to roll in the mire of sin.

Willing enough the mass of men would be to receive Christ,
if, after receiving him, they might continue in their drunkenness,
their wantonness, and self-indulgence. But Christ lays the axe
at the root of the tree; he tells them that these things must be
given up, for “because of these things the wrath of God comes
upon the children of disobedience,” and “without holiness no
man can see the Lord.”

Human nature kicks at this.

“What! May I not enjoy one darling lust? May I not indulge
myself at least now and then in these things? Must I altogether
forsake my old habits and my old ways? Must I be made a
new creature in Christ Jesus?”

These are terms too hard, conditions too severe, and so the
human heart goes back to the flesh pots of Egypt, and clings
to the garlic and the onions of the old estate of bondage, and
will not be set free even though a greater than Moses lifts up
the rod to part the sea, and promises to give to them a Canaan
flowing with milk and honey.

Christ offends men because his gospel is intolerant of sin.

WE NEED REVIVAL

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WE NEED REVIVAL
 . . . when we do not love Him as we once did.

 . . . when earthly interests and occupations are
      more important to us than eternal ones.

 . . . when we would rather watch TV and read secular
      books and magazines than read the Bible and pray.

 . . . when church dinners are better attended than prayer meetings.

 . . . when concerts draw bigger crowds than prayer meetings.

 . . . when we have little or no desire for prayer.

 . . . when we would rather make money than give money.

 . . . when we put people into leadership positions in our
      churches who do not meet scriptural qualifications.

 . . . when our Christianity is joyless and passionless.

 . . . when we know truth in our heads that we are not
      practicing in our lives.

 . . . when we make little effort to witness to the lost.

 . . . when we have time for sports, recreation, and
      entertainment, but not for Bible study and prayer.

 . . . when we do not tremble at the Word of God.

 . . . when preaching lacks conviction, confrontation,
      and divine fire and anointing.

 . . . when we seldom think thoughts of eternity.

 . . . when God’s people are more concerned about their
       jobs and their careers, than about the Kingdom
      of Christ and the salvation of the lost.

 . . . when God’s people get together with other believers
      and the conversation is primarily about the
      news, weather, and sports, rather than the Lord.

 . . . when church services are predictable and “business as usual.”

 . . . when believers can be at odds with each other and
      not feel compelled to pursue reconciliation.

 . . . when Christian husbands and wives are not praying together.

 . . . when our marriages are co-existing rather than
      full of the love of Christ.

 . . . when our children are growing up to adopt worldly
      values, secular philosophies, and ungodly lifestyles.

 . . . when we are more concerned about our children’s
      education and their athletic activities than about
      the condition of their souls.

 . . . when sin in the church is pushed under the carpet.

 . . . when known sin is not dealt with through the biblical
      process of discipline and restoration.

 . . . when we tolerate “little” sins of gossip,
      a critical spirit, and lack of love.

 . . . when we will watch things on television and movies that are not holy.

 . . . when our singing is half-hearted and our worship lifeless.

 . . . when our prayers are empty words designed to impress others.

 . . . when our prayers lack fervency.

 . . . when our hearts are cold and our eyes are dry.

 . . . when we aren’t seeing regular evidence of
      the supernatural power of God.

 . . . when we have ceased to weep and mourn and
       grieve over our own sin and the sin of others.

 . . . when we are content to live with explainable,
      ordinary Christianity and church services.

 . . . when we are bored with worship.

 . . . when people have to be entertained to be drawn to church.

 . . . when our music and dress become patterned after the world.

 . . . when we start fitting into and adapting to the world,
      rather than calling the world to adapt to God’s
      standards of holiness.

 . . . when we don’t long for the company and fellowship of God’s people.

 . . . when people have to be begged to give and to serve in the church.

 . . . when our giving is measured and calculated,
      rather than extravagant and sacrificial.

 . . . when we aren’t seeing lost people drawn to Jesus on a regular basis.

 . . . when we aren’t exercising faith and believing God for the impossible.

 . . . when we are more concerned about what others
      think about us than what God thinks about us.

 . . . when we are unmoved by the thought of neighbors,
      business associates, and acquaintances who are
      lost and without Christ.

 . . . when the lost world around us doesn’t know or care that we exist.

 . . . when we are making little or no difference in the secular world around us.

 . . . when the fire has gone out in our hearts, our marriages, and the church.

 . . . when we are blind to the extent of our need and don’t think we need revival.
The above article was by N. L. DeMoss

That painted harlot!

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That painted harlot!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“Jesus Meeting His Warriors”  No. 589. Genesis 14:18-20.

Brother, if ever you have seen Christ’s face, that painted
harlot, the world, will never win your love again.

Did you ever eat the pure white bread of heaven?
Then the brown, gritty bread of earth will never suit
you, but will break your teeth with gravel stones.

You will never care to drink earth’s sour and watery wine,
if you have once been made to drink of the wines on the
lees well refined- the spiced wine of Christ’s pomegranate.

If you want to be strengthened against the most subtle
worldly temptations, cry, “Let him kiss me with the kisses
of his mouth: for his love is better than wine”; and you
may go forth to conflicts of every kind, more than a
conqueror, through Him that has loved you!

Losses, adversities, afflictions, griefs!

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Losses, adversities, afflictions, griefs!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon, “The Superlative
Excellence of the Holy Spirit”  No. 574.  John 16:7.

The saints of God may very justly reckon
  their losses among their greatest gains.

The adversities of believers minister much to their prosperity.

Although we know this, yet through the infirmity of the flesh
we tremble at soul-enriching afflictions, and dread to see those
black ships which bring us such freights of golden treasure.

When the Holy Spirit sanctifies the furnace, the flame refines
our gold and consumes our dross, yet the dull ore of our nature
likes not the glowing coals, and had rather lie quiet in the dark
mines of earth.

As silly children cry because they are called to drink the
medicine which will heal their sicknesses, even so do we.

Our gracious Savior, however, loves us too wisely to spare
us the trouble because of our childish fears; he foresees the
advantage which will spring from our griefs, and therefore
thrusts us into them out of wisdom and true affection.

The back door to the pit!

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The back door to the pit!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“A Hearer in Disguise” No. 584. 1 Kings 14:6.

Many come to God’s house disguised in manner
  and appearance. How good you all look!

When we sing and you take your books, how
heavenly-minded!  And when we pray, how
reverent you are! How your heads are all bowed-
your eyes covered with your hands!  I do not know
how much praying there is when you sit in a devout
posture, though you assume the attitude and compose
your countenance as those who draw near to supplicate
the Lord. I am afraid there are many of you who do not
pray a word or present a petition, though you assume
the posture of suppliants.

When the singing is going on there are many who never
sing a word with the spirit and the understanding.

In the house of God I am afraid there are many who wear
a mask, stand as God’s people stand, sit as they sit, pray
as they pray, and sing as they sing-  and all the while what
are you doing?
Some of you have been attending to your children while
we have been singing tonight. Some of you have been casting
up your ledger, attending to your farms, scheming about your
carpentering and bricklaying; yet all the while if we had looked
into your faces we might have thought you were reverently
worshiping God.

Oh! those solemn faces, and those reverent looks,
  they do not deceive the Most High God!

He knows who and what you are!

He sees you as clearly as men see  through glass.
As for hiding from the Almighty, how can you hide
yourself from him? As well attempt to hide in a glass
case, for all the world is a glass case before God!

When you look into a glass beehive, you can see the bees and
everything they do- such is this world, a sort of glass beehive
in which God can see everything. The eyes of God are on you
continually; no veil of hypocrisy can screen you from him.

It is a melancholy and a most solemn reflection that there are
many who profess to be Christians who are not Christians.

There was a Judas among the twelve; there was a Demas among
the early disciples; and we must always expect to find chaff on
God’s floor mingled with the wheat.

I have tried, the Lord knows, to preach as plainly and as
much home to the mark as I could, to sift and try you; but
for all that the hypocrite will come in. After the most searching
ministry, there are still some who will wrap themselves about
with a ‘mantle of deception’. Though we cry aloud and spare
not, and bid you lay hold on eternal life, yet, alas! how many
are content with a mere name to live and are dead.

Many come here and even hold office in the Church, yes,
the minister himself may even preach the Word, and after
all be hollow and empty. How many who dress and look
fair outside, are only fit to be tinder for the devil’s tinder
box, for they are all dry and empty within!

God save as from a profession if it is not real!

I pray that we may know the worst of our case.
If I must be damned, I would sooner go to hell unholy,
than as a hypocrite- that back-door to the pit is the
thing I dread most of all.

Oh! to sit at the Lord’s table, and to drink of the cup of devils!
To be recognized among God’s own here, and then to find one’s
own name left out when God reads the muster-roll of his servants!

Oh! what a portion for eternity!

I bid you tear off this mask, and if the grace of God is not
in you, I beg you to go into the world which is your fit place,
and abstain from joining the Church, if you are not really a
member of the body of Christ.

“You, God, see me!”
Write that on the palm of your hand, and look
at it; wake up in the morning with it; sleep with it
before you on your curtains.

“You, God, see me!”

Believers err in many things, fall

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Believers err in many things, fall
in many ways, and sin is mixed with
all they do; but in the tenor of their
lives all believers are faithful, seeking
the will and glory of God in all things
and above all things.
As we become increasingly aware of our
personal sinfulness and corruption, as
we are humbled by the depravity of our
hearts,  nothing is more comforting,
cheerful, and reassuring to God’s  saints,
than the knowledge of the fact that in
the eyes of Christ  we stand perfect in the
beauty of his righteousness, the beauty
 which he has put upon us.
     -Don Fortner

Can these dry bones live?

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Can these dry bones live?
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“The Restoration and Conversion of the Jews”
No. 582.  Ezekiel 37:1-10.

Men, by nature, are just like these dry bones
exposed in the open valley. The whole spiritual
frame is dislocated; the sap and marrow of
spiritual life has been dried out of manhood.
Human nature is not only dead, but, like the
bleaching bones which have long whitened in
the sun, it has lost all trace of the divine life.
Will and power have both departed. Spiritual
death reigns undisturbed. Yet the dry bones
can live. Under the preaching of the Word, the
vilest sinners can be reclaimed, the most stubborn
wills can be subdued, the most unholy lives can
be sanctified. When the holy “breath” comes
from the four winds, when the divine Spirit
descends to own the Word, then multitudes of
sinners, as on Pentecost’s hallowed day, stand
up upon their feet, an exceeding great army,
to praise the Lord their God.

SIN

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SIN
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“The Smoke of Their Torments”
No. 602.  Genesis 19:27, 28.

See the blackness of your sin by the light of hell’s fire!

Hell is the true harvest of the sowing of iniquity.

Come, lost sinner, I charge you to look at hell–
  Hell is what sin brings forth.
  Hell is the full-grown child.
  You have dandled your sin.
  You have kissed and fondled it.
  But see what sin comes to.
  Hell is but sin full-grown, that is all.

You played with that young lion; see how it roars and how
it tears in pieces now that it has come to its strength.

Did you not smile at the azure scales of the serpent?
See its poison; see to what its stings have brought those
who have never looked to the brazen serpent for healing.

Do you account of sin as a peccadillo, a flaw
scarcely to be noticed, a mere joke, a piece of fun?
But see the tree which springs from it.
There is no joke there- no fun in hell.

You did not know that sin was so evil.
Some of you will never know how evil it is until the
sweetness of honey has passed from your mouth,
and the bitterness of death preys at your vitals.

You will count sin harmless until you
are hopelessly stricken with its sting!

My God, from this day forward help me to see through the
thin curtain which covers up sin, and whenever Satan tells
me that such-and-such a thing is for my pleasure, let me
recollect the pain of that penalty wrapped up in it. When
he tells me that such a thing is for my profit, let me know
that it can never profit me to gain the whole world and lose
my own soul. Let me feel it is no sport to sin, for only a
madman would scatter firebrands and death, and say it is sport.

Our plans and dreams

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Our plans and dreams

(J.R. Miller)

“In his heart a man plans his course — but the LORD determines his steps.” Proverbs 16:9 

“Many are the plans in a man’s heart — but it is the LORD’s purpose which prevails.” Proverbs 19:21

There are few entirely unbroken lives in this world; there are few men who fulfill their own hopes and plans, without thwarting or interruption at some point. Now and then, there is one who in early youth marks out a course for himself — and then moves straight on in it to its goal.

But most people’s lives turn out very different from their own early dreams. Many find at the close of their life, that in scarcely one particular, have they realized their own life-dreams; at every point God has simply set aside their plans — and substituted His own. There are some people whose plans are so completely thwarted, that their story is most pathetic. Yet we have but to follow it through to the end, to see that the broken life was better and more effective, than if their own plans had been carried out.

“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

Think about such things!


Grace logoThink about such things!


(J.R. Miller)

“The cheerful heart has a continual feast!” Proverbs 15:15 

We pretty much see just what we are looking for. If our mind has become trained to look for troubles, difficulties, problems, and all gloomy and dreary things — then we shall find just what we seek. On the other hand, it is quite as easy to form the habit of looking always for beauty, for good, for happiness, for gladness — and here too we shall find precisely what we seek.

It has been said that the habit of always seeing the bright side in life, is worth a large income to a man. It makes life a great deal easier. 

None of us are naturally drawn to a gloomy person, who everywhere finds something to complain about — but we are all attracted to one who sees some beauty in everything. Joy is a transfiguring quality. Its secret is a glad heart.

“Finally, brothers, 
 whatever is true, 
 whatever is noble, 
 whatever is right, 
 whatever is pure, 
 whatever is lovely, 
 whatever is admirable — 
 if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — 
think about such things!” Philippians 4:8 

The Delilah in the bosom!

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The Delilah in the bosom!

(Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer“)

If you would not come short of the kingdom of heaven, 
take heed of indulging any sin. One millstone will drown, 
as well as more. One sin lived in will damn, as well as more. 
If any one sin reigns—it will keep you from reigning in the 
kingdom of heaven. 

Especially keep from sins of your natural constitution; 
your darling sin. “I kept myself from my iniquity”—that 
sin which my heart would soonest decoy and flatter me 
into. As in the hive there is one master bee—so in the 
heart there is one master-sin. Oh, take heed of this!

How may this darling-sin be known?

1. That sin for which a man cannot endure the arrow of 
a reproof, is the bosom-sin. Men can be content to have 
other sins declaimed against; but if a minister puts his 
finger upon the sore, and touches upon that one special 
sin—then their eyes flash with fire, they are enraged, 
and spit the venom of malice!

2. That sin which a man’s heart runs out most to, and he 
is most easily captivated by—is the Delilah in the bosom! 
One man is overcome with wantonness, another by worldliness. 
It is a sad thing for a man to be so bewitched by a beloved sin
that he will part with the whole kingdom of heaven—to gratify 
that lust!

3. That sin which a man is least inclined to part with, is the 
endeared sin. Of all his sons, Jacob could most hardly part with 
Benjamin. “Will you take Benjamin away!” Gen 42:35. So says 
the sinner, “This and that sin I have left—but must Benjamin go 
too? Must I part with this delightful sin? That goes to my heart!”

Take heed especially of this master-sin. The strength of sin 
lies in the beloved sin, which, like a cancer striking at the 
heart, brings death. 

I have read of a monarch, who being pursued by the enemy, 
threw away the crown of gold on his head—that he might run 
the faster. Just so, the sin which you wore as a crown of gold 
must be thrown away—that you may run the faster to the 
kingdom of heaven. 

Oh, if you would not lose glory, mortify the beloved sin! Set it, 
as Uriah—in the forefront of the battle to be slain. By plucking 
out this right eye—you will see the better to go to heaven!


The Trojan horse

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The Trojan horse

(Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer“)

“Deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:13

In this petition, we pray to be delivered from the 
evil of our heart, that it may not entice us to sin. 

The heart is the poisoned fountain, from whence 
all actual sins flow. “For from within, out of the heart 
of man
, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, 
murder, adultery, coveting, wickedness, deceit, 
sensuality, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.” 
Mark 7:21-22. 

The cause of all evil lies in a man’s own bosom—all 
sin begins at the heart. Lust is first conceived in the 
heart—and then it is midwifed into the world. Whence 
comes rash anger? The heart sets the tongue on fire. 
The heart is the shop where all sin is contrived and 
hammered out. 


The heart is the greatest seducer “Each one is 
tempted when he is carried away and enticed by 
his own lust.” James 1:14. The devil could not hurt 
us—if our own hearts did not give consent.
 All that 
he can do is to lay the bait—but it is our fault to 
swallow it! How needful, therefore, is this prayer,
“Deliver us from the evil of our hearts!”

It was Augustine’s prayer, “Lord, deliver me from 
that evil man—myself!”

Beware of the bosom traitor—the flesh. The heart 
of a man is the Trojan horse—out of which comes 
a whole army of lusts! O let us pray to be delivered 
from the lusts and deceits of our own heart! 

The Evil Consequences

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Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.” 
Nathan replied, “The LORD has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have made the enemies of the LORD show utter contempt, the son born to you will die.” 2 Samuel 12:13-14
David’s experience is very instructive to us. While it teaches us that God can and will forgive us, if we repent of our great and gross sins—yet it also teaches us that sin is an evil and a bitter thing; and that, though the guilt of it may be removed, the evil consequences of it will cling to us and be a subject of sorrow to us—until God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes!

Charles H Spurgeon

Think of all the hard things there are in your life

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Think of all the hard things there are in your life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bliss Beyond What the Angels Know

Bliss Beyond What the Angels Know
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“Love’s Vigilance Rewarded”

Why me Lord?

Words cannot express the joy of heart which I feel in knowing that
Jesus is with me, and that he has loved me with an everlasting love.

I shall never understand, even in heaven, Why
the Lord Jesus Should Ever Have Loved Me.

There is no love like it-  Why Was it Fixed Upon Me?

Have you never felt that you could go in, like David, and sit before the
Lord, and say, “Who am I, O Lord God? and what is my house, that
you have brought me here?”

Yet wonderful as it is, it is true; Jesus Loves His Believing People,
loves them now at this very moment. Do you not rejoice in it?

I assure you that, in the least drop of the love of Christ when it is
consciously realized, there is more sweetness than there would be
in all heaven without it.

Talk of bursting barns, overflowing wine-vats, and riches
treasured up-  these give but a poor solace to the heart.

But the Love of Jesus, this Is Another Word for Heaven.
It is a marvel that even while we are here below we should be
permitted to enjoy a Bliss Beyond What the Angels Know!

Taken from GraceGems

The never-failing friend

The never-failing friend 
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon, 
   “LOVE’S LOGIC” 

Experience of the love, tenderness, and faithfulness of 
our Lord Jesus Christ will weld our hearts to him. 

The very THOUGHT of the love of Jesus towards us is enough to 
inflame our holy passions, but the EXPERIENCING of his love 
heats the furnace seven times hotter. 

He has been with us in our TRIALS, cheering and consoling us, 
sympathizing with every groan, and regarding every tear with 
affectionate compassion. Do we not love him for this? 

He has befriended us in every TIME OF NEED, so bounteously 
supplying all our neediness out of the riches of his fullness, 
that he has not allowed us to lack any good thing. 
Shall we be unmindful of such unwearying care? 

He has helped us in every DIFFICULTY, furnishing us with 
strength equal to our day; he has leveled the mountains before 
us, and filled up the valleys; he has made rough places plain, 
and crooked things straight. Do we not love him for this also? 

In all our DOUBTS he has directed us in the path of wisdom, 
and led us in the way of knowledge. He has not allowed us to 
wander; he has led us by a right way through the pathless 
wilderness. Shall we not praise him for his. 

He has repelled our ENEMIES, covered our heads in the day of 
battle, broken the teeth of the oppressor, and made us more 
than conquerors. Can We Forget Such Mighty Grace? 

Are we not constrained to call upon all 
that is within us to bless his holy name? 

Not one promise of his has been broken, but all have come to pass. 

In no single instance has he failed us; 
he has never been unkind, unmindful, or unwise. 

The harshest strokes of his providence have been as full of 
love as the softest embraces of his condescending fellowship. 

We cannot, we dare not find fault with him. 

He has done all things well. 

His love toward his people is perfect, and the consideration 
of his love is sweet to contemplation; the very remembrance 
of it is like ointment poured forth, and the present enjoyment 
of it, the  experience of it at the present moment, is beyond 
all things delightful! 

At home or abroad, on the land or the sea, in health or sickness, 
in poverty or wealth, JESUS, THE NEVER-FAILING FRIEND, affords us 
tokens of his grace, and binds our hearts to him in the bonds of 
constraining gratitude. 

If we were we not dull scholars, we would, in the experience of 
a single day, discover a thousand reasons for loving our Redeemer. 

Taken from GraceGems

Return unto your rest, O my soul!

Return unto your rest, O my soul!

(Edward Griffin, 1770-1837)

Return unto your rest, O my soul — for the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.” Psalm 116:7

To rest in God, is  . . .
  to be satisfied with Him as our portion,
  to take Him for our supreme good, and
  to feel that we have enough and abound while possessing Him — though everything else is taken away. 

“Give me,” says the believer, “the enjoyment of my God — and I desire no more. Allow me to feast on heavenly truth — and I shall never complain that I am poor. Let worldlings divide the globe among themselves — let emmets contend for this little heap of dust; I have God — and I ask no more. Come wars and pestilence, come poverty and death — you cannot rob me of my portion.” 

Must it not be substantial rest . . .
  to have the infinite God for a portion,
  to have all the restless desires of the mind composed,
  to feel no anxious apprehension for the future,
  to know that if everything which time or death can destroy, were removed — the whole of one’s portion would remain; 
  to feel that nothing can injure, nothing impoverish, nothing perplex or disturb? 

Ah, give me this portion — instead of thrones and kingdoms!

“Whom have I in Heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever!” Psalm 73:25-26

Taken from GraceGems

The Unseen Places

“The Word of God judges the thoughts. The word “judge” means to critique, to be or act as a critic. This is to say that Scripture is able to accurately audit a person’s life and size it up for what it is. The Word of God is able to examine the unseen attitudes and motivations, expose the secret ambitions and desires, and then render the divine verdict. Man looks on the outward appearance, but God looks upon the heart. This sharp, two-edged sword is able to penetrate into the hidden crevices of the heart and judge what only God can see. The Word makes known what we alone know about ourselves – and often what we do not yet know of ourselves. Scripture plunges deep into the unseen places of the human spirit and judges the private matters of the heart. Only the razor-sharp Word of God can do this.”

Steven J. Lawson

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.

A lamb with a wolf’s head!

(John Angell James, “Christian Fellowship” 1822)

“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 2:5

Christians should excel in the manifestation of Christ’s character. The mind which was in Jesus, should be in them. They should consider His character as a model of their own; and be conspicuous for their . . .

poverty of spirit,
meekness,
gentleness,
and love.

It is matter of surprise and regret, that many people seem to think that Christianity has nothing to do with character! And that provided they are free from gross sins, and have lively feelings in devotional exercises, they may be as petulant, irritable, and implacable as they please! This is a dreadful error, and has done great mischief to the cause of God!

A sour, ill-natured Christian, is like a lamb with a wolf’s head! Or like a dove with a vulture’s beak!

If there be any one word which above all others should describe a Christian’s character, it is that which represents his divine Father; and as it is said, that ‘God is love’, so should it be also affirmed, that a Christian is love–love embodied, an incarnation of love! His words, his conduct, his very looks–should be so many expressions of love!

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave Himself up for us!” Ephesians 4:32-5:2

One year nearer to Heaven–or nearer to Hell!

(Arthur Pink, “Studies in the Scriptures” January, 1926)

Another year has passed away–gone into eternity with all its sad and glad records.

Sad, because of our sins and our failures–all of which have been observed and recorded by the All-seeing eye!
Sad, because numbers who “did run well”–do so no longer.

Glad, because of the “goodness and mercy” which have surely followed us day by day.
Glad, because . . .
weak ones have been strengthened,
sorrowing ones have been comforted, and
hungry ones have been fed with the Bread of Life.

How is it with you–progression or regression?

One thing is certain–January, 1926 finds you one year nearer to Heaven–or nearer to Hell!

Reader! You have entered this New Year, either accepted in God’s Beloved–or under God’s holy wrath! How unspeakably solemn are the alternatives!

To any unsaved reader who scans these lines, we would say: You have commenced this year on earth–and you may end it in Hell, where a ray of hope never enters. “Now acquaint yourself with Him, and be at peace. Thereby good will come to you.” Job 22:21

To the Christian–not to the professing one, but the the genuine believer–we would say: What a bright hope is yours! How precious is the thought, that before 1926 ends, you may be “forever with the Lord!” The bud of promise–may burst into the full fruit of unspeakable bliss! The springtime of faith and hope–may give place to the unending summertime of blessedness and eternal glory.

Since this is the case, let us be reminded of our solemn responsibility at the dawn of another year . . .
to yield ourselves afresh to God,
to seek His face with full purpose of heart,
to supplicate Him for new supplies of grace–
that we may serve Him as never before!

“The hour has come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light.” Romans 13:11-12

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

Attributes Of God

“We cannot take our plates and help ourselves to only those attributes of God we find tasteful and pass by those attributes we find unpalatable. In practice, this is done every day. It is the basis of idolatry; we first deconstruct God by stripping Him of some of His attributes and then refashion Him into a different God more to our liking. An idol is a false god that serves as a substitute for the real God.”

R.C. Sproul, God’s Love: How the Infinite God Cares for His Children

Immanuel’s Land!

Immanuel’s Land!

(Gene Fedele,

What can be more delightful for the weary pilgrim who is hastening to his heavenly mansion, than to meditate on the unspeakable wonders of his future home beyond the skies? There is much of Immanuel’s Land to engage our hearts in sacred contemplation, even while we sojourn and toil in this world as strangers and pilgrims.

Heaven is the most cheering and attractive occupation to which we may set our hearts. Yet I wonder why many of us fail to avail ourselves of the enjoyment and spiritual strength afforded in such a holy pursuit.

Could it be that the allurements of the world keep us from recognizing how near we are to the unseen, supernatural, and eternal state? Instead of dwelling on the glorious world to come — do we focus on the mere momentary pleasures of time? We do well to examine ourselves, with judgment day honesty, that we may check the affections of our heart.

It is the influence of the future heavenly realities exercised in our hearts and lives, which gives vitality and beauty to our religion. It reveals genuine piety, as our aim is in contrast to the passing pleasures of this fleeting earth. It affords light along the path of life’s dark trials, and points to the realms of bliss, where there shall be no more tears, and sorrow is banished forevermore!

The glorious rest that remains for our earth wearied souls;
the sweet consolation of the redeemed in glory;
the unending fellowship of that precious society of saints;
the incalculable riches laid up in store for us to receive on that glorious day
— are all facets of Immanuel’s Land, that we might set an adoring eye towards the one object of our affections, Christ Jesus our Lord!

Let us, therefore, ‘set our affections on things above’ and fix our hearts steadfastly upon the heavenly joys and glory of Immanuel’s Land!

The only effectual reformer of the world!

The only effectual reformer of the world!

(Samuel Davies, “Serious Reflections on WAR” 1757)

“When He comes—He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment!” John 16:8

The Holy Spirit is the only effectual reformer of the world! If He is absent—

legislators may make laws against crime;
philosophers may reason against vice;
ministers may preach against sin;
conscience may remonstrate against evil;
the divine law may prescribe, and threaten hell;
the gospel may invite and allure to heaven;

but all will be in vain!

The strongest arguments, the most melting entreaties, the most alarming denunciations from God and man, enforced with the highest authority, or the most compassionate tears—all will have no effect—all will not effectually reclaim one sinner, nor gain one sincere convert to righteousness!

Paul, Apollos, and Peter, with all their apostolic abilities, can do nothing, without the Holy Spirit.

Paul may plant the seed—and Apollos may water it; but God alone can make it grow! “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything—but only God, who makes things grow!” 1 Corinthians 3:6, 7.

Never will peace and harmony be established in this jangling world—until this Divine Agent takes the work in hand.

It is He alone—who can melt down the obstinate hearts of men into love and peace!

It is He alone—who can soften their rugged and savage tempers, and transform them into mutual benevolence!

It is He alone—who can quench those lusts that set the world on fire, and implant the opposite virtues and graces. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, are mentioned by Paul, as the fruit of the Spirit, because the Spirit alone is the author of them. And if these dispositions were predominant in the world—what a serene, calm, peaceful region would it be, undisturbed with the hurricanes of human passions!

Oh, how much do we need the influence of the blessed Spirit . . .

to break the heart of stone,
to enlighten the dark mind, and
to comfort the desponding soul!

There has been too much trifling with Jehovah!

There has been too much trifling with Jehovah!

(Archibald Brown, “Amen, O Lord!” 1894)

“Then I answered and said: Amen, O Lord!” Jeremiah 11:5 [Or, So be it, O Lord.]

Perhaps there is a secret contention going on between you and God. God has spoken to you — but thus far there has not been Jeremiah’s response of ‘Amen, O Lord.’

Here you have the one response which a man of God must ever make to the words of God. When God says anything to him, there is nothing left for him but to bow the head and say, ‘Amen, O Lord — so be it!’

This response is the only one that suits a creature’s lip.
When God speaks — there is nothing left for man but to hear.
When God decrees — there is nothing for man to do but acquiesce.
When Jehovah gives a command — what is there left for His creature to do but obey?
Any other word than ‘Amen’ springs from rebellion. Any other response to the word of Jehovah, simply tells of a heart that wars with God.

It is not for men to judge God’s words, far less to amend them. If it pleases Jehovah to say anything, no matter how stern, how dreadful, or how searching — there is only one position for man: that is to bow his head and say, ‘Amen, O Lord.’

‘Oh,’ says one, in the proud spirit of our times, ‘you are making a bold bid for your God this morning.’

I am. The sovereignty of God needs to be brought to the front. There has been too much trifling with Jehovah! Man needs to have the peacock’s feathers plucked out of his cap, and be taught that he is a poor little nothing, and that for God to speak to him at all is infinite condescension, and that for him to say anything else than ‘Amen’ is boundless impudence!

If God condescends to utter a command, am I to go and judge whether the Lord has a right to say it? Shall I take the word of Jehovah my Maker and weigh it in my scales — and bring up his thoughts to the paltry bar of my fallen reason — and enter my protest unless I can see a good reason for God speaking as He does?

When God promulgates a decree, He does not send it to man to be revised.

His claim is this, “I am Jehovah. I, the Lord, speak that which is right, and let man say: Amen, O Lord.”

We are living in the days of the deification of humanity. We hear so much about ‘the glory of humanity’, and ‘the triumphs of humanity’ — that God has become little better than a very inferior deity who runs after man and tips His cap to him.

This is not the picture which God’s Book gives. God’s claim is this, “I am the Lord, and you are but the creatures of My hand. The brightest of My angels are but sparks struck off from the anvil of My creative omnipotence. When I speak, let men and angels be silent; or, if they must speak, let them say: Amen, O Lord!” This is the only response that suits a creature’s lip.

If you can conceive of a being who is . . .

infinitely wise,
all-powerful,
infinitely righteous,
absolutely holy,
inflexibly just,
and all gathered up into boundless love — that is God.

If such a One speaks — then what is there left for me but to say, ‘Amen’? I am stark, raving mad, if I dare question the utterance of Infinite Wisdom. I am unutterably vile, if I can dare to criticize the utterance of Absolute Love. Idiocy must have taken hold of my brain and, alas! of my heart, if I would amend anything which His infinite holiness has declared. The very nature and character of God declare that the only response for man when God speaks, is ‘Amen, O Lord.’

Oh, for that grand attitude of resignation and submission to God, that bows before every word of God — whether it be a silver note of mercy from Heaven, or a thunder-clap of denunciation!

Prayer is a precious privilege to be enjoyed

Prayer is a precious privilege to be enjoyed

(Octavius Winslow, “Evening Thoughts”)

What! Is it no privilege to have a door of access ever open to God? Is it no privilege when the burden crushes, to cast it upon One who has promised to sustain?

When the corruptions of an unsanctified nature are strong, and temptations thicken–is prayer no privilege then?

And when perplexed to know the path of duty, and longing to walk complete in all the will of God, and, as a child, fearing to offend a loving Father–is it then no privilege to have a throne of grace, an open door of hope?

When the world is slowly stealing upon the heart; or when that heart is wounded through the unkindness of friends; or is bleeding under severe bereavement–is it then no privilege to go and tell Jesus?

Say, you poor, you needy, you tried, you tempted souls! Say, if prayer is not the most precious and splendid privilege this side heaven!

Cease to pray, and . . .

your grace withers,
your vigor decays,
your comfort dies.

“Let us therefore draw near with boldness to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy, and may find grace for help in time of need.” Heb. 4:16

Luther’s puppy?

Luther’s puppy?

When Luther’s puppy happened to be at the table, he looked for a morsel from his master, and watched with open mouth and motionless eyes. Luther said, “Oh, if I could only pray the way this dog watches the meat! All his thoughts are concentrated on the piece of meat. Otherwise he has no thought, wish, or hope.”

The masses demand that which will soothe them in their sins and amuse them while they journey down the Broad Road!

The masses demand that which will soothe them in their sins and amuse them while they journey down the Broad Road!

(Arthur Pink, 1886-1952)

“In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of His appearing and His kingdom, I give you this charge: Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths!” 2 Timothy 4:1-4

That time has arrived! Church-goers today will not endure sound doctrine. Those who . . .

preach the total depravity of man,
insist upon the imperative necessity of the new birth,
set forth the inflexible righteousness and holiness of God, and
warn against the eternal and conscious torment awaiting every rejecter of Christ,
find it almost impossible to obtain a hearing. Such preachers are regarded as puritanic pessimists, and are not wanted.

In these degenerate times, the masses demand that which will soothe them in their sins and amuse them while they journey down the Broad Road! The multitude is affected with itching ears which crave novelty and that which is sensational. They have ears which wish to be tickled, ears which eagerly drink in the songs of professional and unsaved soloists and choristers, ears which are well pleased with the vulgar slang of our modern evangelists!

The things which are now done in so many churches — the socials, the fund-raisers, the bazaars, the concerts, the moving picture shows and other forms of entertainment — what are these but idolatrous commercialization of these houses of prayer! No wonder that such places are devoid of spirituality and strangers to the power of God. The Lord will not tolerate an unholy mixture of worldly things with spiritual.

“Get these things out of here! Stop turning My Father’s house into a marketplace!” John 2:16

How precious!

How precious!

(From Octavius Winslow’s, “The Fresh Oil”)

Oh, there is more real value in one ray of the Spirit’s light, beaming in upon a man’s soul, than in all the teaching which books can ever impart!

What tongue is sufficiently gifted to describe how precious is the gift of the Holy Spirit?

How precious is his indwelling;

an ever ascending,
heaven panting,
God thirsting,
Christ desiring Spirit!

How precious are all the revelations he makes of Christ!

How precious are….

the consolations he brings,
the promises he seals,
the teachings he imparts;
all the emotions he awakens,
the holy breathings he inspires, and
the affections he creates.

How precious are those graces in the soul of which he is the Author; the faith that leads to a precious Savior, the love that rises to a gracious God, and the holy affections which flow forth to all the saints!

The fruits and effects He produces

The fruits and effects He produces

(J.C. Ryle, “The Holy Spirit”)

“When He comes, He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment.” (John 16:8)

Where the Holy Spirit is, there will always be deep conviction of sin — and true repentance for it. It is His special office to convict of sin.

He shows the exceeding holiness of God.

He teaches the exceeding corruption and infirmity of our nature.

He strips us of our blind self-righteousness.

He opens our eyes to our awful guilt, folly and danger.

He fills the heart with sorrow, contrition, and abhorrence for sin — as the abominable thing which God hates.

He who knows nothing of all this, and saunters carelessly through life, thoughtless about sin, and indifferent and unconcerned about his soul — is a dead man before God! He has not the Holy Spirit.

The presence of the Holy Spirit in a man’s heart can only be known by the fruits and effects He produces. Mysterious and invisible to mortal eye as His operations are — they always lead to certain visible and tangible results.

Just as you know there is life in a tree by its sap, buds, leaves and fruits — just so you may know the Spirit to be in a man’s heart by the influence He exercises over his thoughts, affections, opinions, habits, and life. I lay this down broadly and unhesitatingly. I see it clearly marked out in our Lord Jesus Christ’s words,

“Every tree is known by his own fruit.” Luke 6:44

Never let us read any portion of God’s Word without looking up for divine teaching!

Never let us read any portion of God’s Word without looking up for divine teaching!

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

“Open my eyes–that I may behold wondrous things out of Your law.” Psalm 119:18

God’s Book is a book of wonders! It is a wonderful record . . .

of God’s power in creation,
of His wisdom in providence,
and of His grace in redemption.

It has the stamp of infinity upon it. We cannot penetrate its heights, fathom its depths, or traverse its lengths and breadths–but as we are taught of God. The Holy Spirit, who composed it and inspired holy men to write it, must unfold and reveal it to our minds–or we shall never . . .

see its glory,
be impressed with its majesty,
or rejoice in its divine truths.

Never let us read any portion of God’s Word without looking up for divine teaching. Never let us imagine that we know all that is contained in any one verse of God’s blessed Book–for there is a fullness in the holy Scriptures not to be found anywhere else.

Oh, ever blessed Spirit of God, who has given us Your holy Word to . . .

instruct our intellects,
sanctify our hearts, and
regulate our lives–we beseech You to . . .
enlighten our minds to understand it,
open our hearts to receive it,
give us faith to believe it, and
enable us to reduce it to practice in our every-day life!

O may we be given grace . . .

understand the sublime doctrines,
believe the precious promises, and
practice the holy precepts of Your blessed Word!

Lord, unveil to us the types, unfold to us the prophecies–and apply to our hearts, the consolatory portions of the sacred Scriptures. May we hide the Word in our hearts, that we may not sin against You. O to catch the meaning, taste the sweetness, and feel the power–of Your holy truth! O Lord, open our eyes, and unfold the truth to us this night! O Lord, soften our hearts, and bring home Your Word with power!

“Then He opened their understanding–that they might understand the Scriptures.” Luke 24:45

“Behold, God is exalted in His power! Who is a teacher like Him?” Job 36:22

Nothing Could Be More Arrogant

“It is fashionable in some academic circles to exercise scholarly criticism of the Bible. In so doing, scholars place themselves above the Bible and seek to correct it. If indeed the Bible is the Word of God, nothing could be more arrogant. It is God who corrects us; we don’t correct Him. We do not stand over God but under Him.”

R.C. Sproul, Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow

Everybody is going to be saved–and nobody is going to be lost!

Everybody is going to be saved–and nobody is going to be lost!

(J.C. Ryle, 1884)

One great danger of the church today, consists in the rise and progress of a spirit of indifference to all doctrines and opinions in religion. A wave of latitudinarianism about theology, appears to be passing over the land. The minds of many seem utterly incapable of discerning any difference between . . .

one belief–and another belief,
one creed–and another creed,
one tenet–and another tenet,
one opinion–and another opinion,
one thought–and another thought,
however diverse and mutually contrary they may be!
Everything is true–and nothing is false.
Everything is right–and nothing is wrong.
Everything is good–and nothing is bad–if only it comes to us under the garb and name of religion. Most think that it is kind and liberal, to maintain that we have no right to think that anyone is wrong, who is in earnest about his creed.

We are not allowed to ask what is God’s truth–but what is liberal, and generous, and charitable.

Most professing Christians make cleverness and earnestness the only tests of orthodoxy in religion. Thousands nowadays seem utterly unable to distinguish things that differ. If a preacher is only clever and eloquent and earnest–they think that he is all right, however strange and heterodox his sermons may be.

Popery–or Protestantism,
an atonement–or no atonement,
a personal Holy Spirit–or no Holy Spirit,
future punishment–or no future punishment

–they swallow all! Carried away by an imagined liberality and charity, they seem to regard doctrine as a matter of no importance, and to think that everybody is going to be saved–and nobody is going to be lost! They dislike distinctness, and think that all decided views are very wrong!

These people live in a kind of mist or fog! They see nothing clearly, and do not know what they believe. They have not made up their minds about any great point in the Gospel, and seem content to be honorary members of all schools of thought. For their lives–they could not tell you what they think is truth about . . .

forgiveness of sins,
or justification,
or regeneration,
or sanctification,
or saving faith,
or conversion,
or inspiration,
or the future state.

They are eaten up with a morbid dread of doctrine. And so they live on undecided, and too often undecided they drift down to the grave, on the broad way which leads to eternal destruction.

They are content to shovel aside all disputed points as rubbish, and will tell you, “I do not pretend to understand doctrine. I dare say that it is all the same in the long run.” They are for a general policy of universal toleration and forbearance of every doctrine. Every school of false teaching, however extreme, is to be tolerated. They desire the Church to be a kind of Noah’s Ark, within which every kind of opinion and creed shall dwell safely and undisturbed, and the only terms of admittance are a willingness to come inside, and let your neighbor alone. Nothing is too absurd to concede and allow into the church, in the present mania for complete freedom of thought, and absolute liberty of opinion.

The explanation of this boneless, nerveless condition of soul, is perhaps not difficult to find. The heart of man is naturally in the dark about religion–has no intuitive sense of truth–and really needs divine instruction and illumination. Besides this, the natural heart in most men hates exertion in religion. Above all, the natural heart generally likes the praise of others, shrinks from collision, and loves to be thought charitable and liberal. The whole result is that a kind of broad religious anythingism just suits an immense number of professors.

Ignorance, I am compelled to say, is one of the grand dangers of professors of religion in the present day.

Who does not know that such people swarm and abound everywhere? And who does not know that anyone who denounces this state of things, and insists that we should be loyal to Scripture truth–is regarded as a narrow, bigoted, intolerant person, quite unsuited to our times?

When there is no creed or standard of doctrine, there can be no church, but a Babel. Let me venture to advise all true Christians to never to be ashamed of holding Evangelical views. Those views, I am quite aware, are not fashionable nowadays. They are ridiculed as old-fashioned, narrow, defective, and out of date–and those who hold them, are regarded as illiberal, impracticable old fossils!

What the final result of the present state of things will be, I do not pretend to predict.

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

Tears Of Repentance

Tears Of Repentance

(Charles Spurgeon)

“As she stood behind Him at His feet weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them!” Luke 7:38

O that our eyes were as ready with tears of repentance as were hers! O that our hearts were as full of love as hers and our hands as ready to serve the forgiving Lord!

If she has exceeded some of us in the heinousness of her sin–yet she has exceeded all of us in the fervency of her affection!

Serving with ulterior motives…

Serving with ulterior motives…

by F. B. Meyer

How many of us, who are engaged in the Lord’s holy service, are secretly cherishing some proud aspiration of excelling other men, of making a name for ourselves, of securing money or fame!

We will use the pulpit as a pedestal for the adulation of the world, and the cross for a post on which to hang garlands to our own glory.

How often do we preach sermons, or make addresses, and attend meetings, with no other thought than to secure the recognition and praise of those to whom we ‘minister’.

All of this must be laid aside. We must have no selfish, prideful ulterior motives to serve Christ.

Perfect Peace

Perfect peace

(Charles Spurgeon, “Gleanings among the Sheaves”)

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

Unless the heart is kept quiet and peaceable—the life will not be happy. If calm does not reign over that inner lake within the soul which feeds the rivers of our life—the rivers themselves will always be in storm. Our outward acts will always manifest that they were born in tempests—by being tempestuous themselves.

We all desire to lead a peaceful and joyous life; the bright eye and the elastic foot are things which each of us desire; to carry about a contented mind is that to which most people are continually aspiring. Let us remember that the only way to keep our life peaceful and happy—is to keep the heart at rest—for come poverty, come wealth, come honor, come shame, come plenty, or come scarcity—if the heart is quiet, there will be peace and happiness manifested in the life!

But no matter how bright the sun shines outside—if the heart is troubled—the whole life must be troubled too!

“You will keep in perfect peace—all whose thoughts are fixed on You—because he trusts in You!” Isaiah 26:3

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