Tag Archives: Christian Living

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

The malady–the misery–the shame of our whole race!

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The malady–the misery–the shame of our whole race!¬†

(Henry Law, “The Sin Offering“)

“He must bring to the Lord a young bull without defect as a sin offering for the¬†sin¬†he has committed.”¬†Leviticus 4:3

SIN! 

The sound is brief–but it presents a dark abyss of thought.¬†
No mind can trace its birth–no eye can see its death.¬†
Before the worlds it scaled the heavens, and dragged angels down. 
In life’s first dawn it entered Eden and slew innocence.¬†
It ends not with the end of time. 
It ever rolls on in its ever-deepening course.

Reader, think much of sin!

It is earth’s death-blow.¬†
It marred the beauty of a beauteous world, and stripped it of its lovely robe. 
It caused the soil to harden, and the leaves to wither and decay. 
It turned fertility into weeds, and armed the brier with its bristling thorns. 
It made the clouds to blacken, and the storm to rage. 
It raised the tempest’s roar, and plumed the lightning with its forked wings.¬†
It placed its foot upon a perfect workmanship, and left it a disordered wreck!

Reader, think much of sin!

It is man’s ruin.¬†
Its most tremendous blight fell on our inner life. 
It drove the soul from peaceful fellowship with God. 
It changed the loving child into a hardened rebel. 
It robbed the mind of light. 
It rendered reason a bewildered maze. 
It made the heart . . .
  a nest of unclean birds; 
  a spring of impure streams; 
  a whirlpool of tumultuous passions; 
  a hot-bed of ungodly lusts; 
  a den of God-defying schemes! 

It is¬†the malady–the misery–the shame of our whole race!¬†
It is the spring of every tear! 
Each sigh which rends the bosom;
each frown which ploughs the brow;
each¬†pain¬†which racks the limbs–are cradled in its arms.¬†

It is the mother of that mighty monster–death!
It digs each grave in every grave-yard. 
Each widow and each orphan tastes its gall. 
It fills each hospital with the sick. 
It strews the battlefield with the slain. 
It is the core in every grief.
It is the worm which gnaws the root of peace.

Reader, think much of sin!

Its terrible destructions do not die in the grave. 
There is a region where its full-blown torments reign. 
It built the prison-house of Hell. 
It kindled quenchless flames.
It forged the chains which bind lost sinners to their burning beds. 
It sharpened the undying sting of an upbraiding conscience. 
It arms the jailer–Satan, with his scourge.¬†
It bars the hopeless in that outer darkness, where . . .
  weeping ever weeps,
  and wailing ever wails,
  and teeth forever gnash,
  and all is woe, which knows neither respite nor end.

Reader, think much of sin!

It works this bitter and eternal anguish, because God’s curse attends it.¬†
It raised a rebel-hand against His will. 
It dared to violate His holy law. 
It strove to lay His honor in the dust.
It trampled on the statute-book of heaven. 
Therefore God’s anger fiercely burns against it.¬†
Hence every misery follows in its succession. 
He must be wretched, who has God against him!

Reader, here is a picture in which all horrors meet! 
Regard it with an earnest eye. 
No fiction colors it. 
No power can over-paint the terrible reality.
No artist’s skill can represent a flame.¬†
The dreadful truth exceeds description. 
The lost writhe out eternity in fully learning the deserts of sin!

Reader, receive the soul-reviving voice: Though sin is death, the sinner need not die. 
There is a fortress of escape. 
There is a remedy to heal these wounds. 
What though your sins are as countless as the sands? They all may disappear. 
What though the dye of each sin is double crimson? Each may be washed away. 
The filth may all be cleansed. 
The debts may be wiped out. 
The soul may meet Jehovah’s eye without one stain.¬†
There is a way, by which the vilest may stand pure.
God’s love decreed a plan.¬†
He willed a ransom, and His Son achieved it. 

Let us draw nearer to the amazing sight!

Each sin must bear its merited load of woe. 
Each curse must be endured. 
Each violation of the holy law must drink the dregs of condemnation. 

Jesus comes forth to help! 
The guiltless One takes the guilty place. 
The God-man represents His chosen flock. 
He stands as their complete sin-offering. 
He pays in anguish and in blood, their every due. 
Their wrath is endured. 
Their penalties are paid. 
Their sufferings are suffered. 
Their agonies are agonized. 
The saving work requires infinity of woe. Infinity of woe is borne by Him. 
His Deity enables–His manhood qualifies.¬†
Thus their sin is fully punished–thus the redeemed are fully saved!

Do we have any evidence that we really intend to go there?

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Do we have any evidence that we really intend to go there?

(John Owen)

We all profess that we are bound for Heaven, immortality and glory. But¬†do we have any evidence that we really intend to go there–if all our thoughts are consumed about the trifles of this world, which we must leave behind us–and have only occasional thoughts of things above?

“If then you were raised with Christ–seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above–not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. When Christ who is our life appears–then you also will appear with Him in glory!” Colossians 3:1-4

Imitate the pearl oyster!

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Imitate the pearl oyster!

(Charles Spurgeon, “Love’s Labors”)

“Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” Colossians 3:13

I wish, brothers and sisters, that we could all¬†imitate the pearl oyster. A hurtful particle intrudes itself into its shell, and this vexes and grieves it. The oyster cannot reject the evil–but it ‘covers’ it with a precious substance extracted out of its own life, by which it turns the intruder into a pearl!

Oh, that we could do so with the provocations we receive from our fellow Christians–so that pearls of patience, gentleness, and forgiveness might be bred within us, by that which otherwise would have harmed us!

“Above all, love each other deeply, because¬†love covers over a multitude of sins.” 1 Peter 4:8¬†

The choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian!

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The choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian!

Thomas Manton: “What is the reason that there is so much preaching, and so little practice? For lack of meditation. The end of study is information–and the end of meditation is practice, or kindling of the affections. The end of study is to hoard up truth. The end of meditation to lay it forth in holy conduct. To hear sermons and not to meditate upon them, is unfruitful. We may hear and hear, but it is like putting a thing into a bag with holes!”

Thomas Brooks: “It is not the bee’s touching of the flower which gathers honey, but her abiding for a time upon the flower which draws out the sweet. Just so, it is not he who¬†reads¬†most, but he who¬†meditates¬†most–who will prove to be¬†the choicest, sweetest, wisest and strongest Christian!”¬†

William Bridge: “Meditation will keep your hearts and souls from sinful thoughts. When the vessel is full, you can put in no more. If the heart is full of sinful thoughts–then there is no room for holy and heavenly thoughts. If the heart is full of holy and heavenly thoughts by meditation–then there is no room for evil and sinful thoughts.”¬†

William Plumer: “Without meditation grace never thrives, prayer is languid, praise is dull, and religious duties are unprofitable. It is easier to hear a year of sermons–than to spend an hour in close, devout, profitable thoughts on divine things.”

George Muller: “It often astonishes me that I did not see the importance of meditation upon Scripture earlier in my Christian life. We must¬†consider¬†what we read,¬†ponder¬†over it, and¬†apply¬†it to our hearts. The most important thing I do, is to read the Word of God and to meditate on it. Thus my heart might is comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved and instructed.”

Thomas Watson: “The reason we come away so cold from reading the Word, is because we do not warm ourselves at the fire of meditation. Without meditation, the truths which we know will never affect our hearts. As a hammer drives a nail to the head, so mediation drives a truth to the heart. Read before you meditate.¬†Reading furnishes with matter–it is the oil which feeds the lamp of meditation. Be sure your mediations are founded upon Scripture. Reading without meditation is barren and unfruitful; meditation without reading is dangerous.”

Charles Spurgeon: “Some people like to read so many chapters every day. I would not dissuade them from the practice, but I would rather let my soul soak in half a dozen verses all day, than rinse my hand in several chapters. Oh, to be bathed in a text of Scripture, and to let it be sucked up into your very soul, till it saturates your heart! Set your heart upon God’s Word! Let your whole nature be plunged into it as a cloth into a dye!”

William Bridge: 
“By meditation, your¬†knowledge¬†is raised.¬†
By meditation, your memory is strengthened. 
By meditation, your hearts are warmed. 
By meditation, you will be freed from sinful thoughts. 
By meditation, your hearts will be tuned to every duty. 
By meditation, you will grow in grace. 
By meditation, you will fill up all the chinks and crevices of your lives, and know how to spend your spare time profitably. 
By meditation, you will draw good out of evil. 
By meditation, you will converse with God, and enjoy God.”

Philip Henry: “It is easier to walk six miles to hear a sermon, than to spend one quarter of an hour in meditating upon it when I come home.”

Arthur Pink: “Meditation upon the Word of God is one of the most important of all the means of grace and growth in spirituality, yes there can be no true progress in vital and practical godliness without it. Meditation on Divine things is not optional but obligatory, for it is something which God has commanded us to attend unto.”

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

¬†¬† “But his delight is in the Law of the LORD, and on His Law he¬†meditates¬†day and night.” Psalm 1:2¬†

¬†¬† “I¬†meditate¬†on Your precepts, and consider Your ways.” Psalm 119:15¬†

¬†¬† “Oh, how I love your law! I¬†meditate¬†on it all day long.” Psalm 119:97¬†

¬†¬† “My eyes stay open through the watches of the night, that I may¬†meditate¬†on Your promises.” Psalm 119:148

Would any do this but a madman?

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Would any do this but a madman?

(David Clarkson, “Hypocritical Religion” 1622-1686)

“Not everyone who¬†says¬†to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of Heaven, but he who¬†does¬†the will of My Father in Heaven. Many will¬†say¬†to Me in that day: ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them: ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'” Matthew 7:21-23

Many professors cannot judge of the face of their soul–whether the features of Heaven or Hell are on it. They dislike looking in the mirror of the Word–lest the visage of their soul, truly represented, should trouble them.¬†

Satan blinds one eye, self-love closes the other, and the deceitfulness of sin seals both! It is no wonder that they imagine themselves on the way to Heaven, when they are on the high road to Hell. 

When the blind leads the blind, you know what the outcome will be! It is no wonder that they think they shall be safe ashore in Heaven and their feet near the very banks of happiness–at that very moment they are falling into the bottomless pit!

Most professors simply¬†assume¬†that they shall go to Heaven–when, alas, they have no ground for such an assumption, but what Satan suggests, or their own deceitful hearts prompt them. And thus¬†they hang the whole weight of eternity upon a cobweb!¬†Thus, they pin the everlasting concerns of their souls upon a¬†shadow, as though it would hang there safe enough, where it can have no hold at all.¬†

Would any do this but a madman? What! Trust without verifying, in a matter of eternal consequence to body and soul?

Many promise themselves Heaven–when nothing but Hell is reserved for them!

Faithfulness in littles

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Faithfulness in littles

(John Colwell, “Little Foxes; The Little Sins That Mar the Christian Character” 1882)

“Catch the foxes–the¬†little foxes¬†that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes!” Song of Songs 2:15¬†

The little things of life are most important. Those who affect to despise the importance of little¬†things, are in danger of becoming little¬†people. Certainly no great man will ever do so. He will the rather prove his greatness by a hearty recognition of the truth of the wise saying,¬†“He who despises little things, shall fall little by little.”

The¬†Great Teacher¬†drew some of His most beautiful and important lessons from little things–such as little flowers, little birds, little dew-drops, little children. He insisted on¬†faithfulness in¬†littles.

My friend, life is great because it is the aggregation of littles.

As the coral reefs which rear themselves high above the crawling sea beneath, are all made up of minute skeletons of microscopic animalcules; so life, mighty and solemn as having eternal consequences; life that hangs over the¬†sea of eternity–is made up of these minute incidents, of these trifling duties, of these small tasks. Only those who are faithful in the least are, or can be, faithful in the whole.

Little things make either . . .
¬† the joy–or the sorrow,¬†
¬† the success–or the ruin,¬†
¬† the safety–or the danger,¬†
¬† the grandeur–or the smallness
–of human life.¬†

Illustrations of this principle abound:

     Little neglects lead to great ruin. 

     Little precautions lead to great safety. 

     Little wastings make great losses. 

     Little savings make great gains. 

     Little troubles make us miserable. 

     Little virtues make us godly. 

     Little vices make us wicked.

Therefore, says inspired Wisdom, “Catch the foxes–the¬†little foxes¬†that spoil the vines,” which is equivalent to saying, “I know you will keep out the more hateful and destructive full-grown foxes, by stopping up all the large holes in the vineyard fence. Your danger lies in overlooking the¬†smaller gaps¬†by which the¬†little foxes¬†may enter, and thus spoil your vines by robbing them of the tender grapes.”¬†

How forcibly may this advice be urged upon Christian people! They will be almost certain to secure their character against the intrusion of shameful vices, destructive sins, and great scandals. But are they always so careful to stop the smaller breaches in the fence of their Christian character against the little foxes, lesser sins, smaller vices, and trifling moral blemishes which, nevertheless, spoil the loveliness and nobility of their lives? Judging from observation and experience, I fear not.

In this book, we will point out some “little foxes” that do much damage in the Christian vineyard, and invite our readers to hunt them down!

True excellency!

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True excellency!

(Jonathan Edwards)

Worldly men imagine that there is true excellency and true happiness in those things which they are pursuing. They think that if they could but obtain them, that they would be happy. But when they obtain them, and cannot find happiness–then they look for happiness in something else, and are still upon the futile pursuit.

There is a transcendent glory, and an ineffable sweetness in Christ.

Jesus Christ has true excellency, and so great an excellency, that when you come to truly see Him, you look no further, but your mind rests there.

You see that you had been pursuing shadows, but now you have found the substance.

You realize that you had been seeking happiness in the stream, but now you have found the ocean.

The excellency of Christ is an object adequate to the natural cravings of the soul, and is sufficient to fill its capacity.

Christ has an infinite excellency, such as the mind desires, in which it can find no bounds.
The more the mind contemplates Him, the more excellent does He appear.

Each new discovery of Christ makes His beauty appear more ravishing, and the mind can see no end to His excellency. There is room enough for the mind to go deeper and deeper, and never come to the bottom.

Christ’s excellency is always fresh and new, and will as much delight us after we have beheld Him a thousand, or ten thousand years–as when we have seen Him the first moment.

The soul is exceedingly ravished when it first looks on the beauty of Christ. It is never weary of Him.

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

“Put the beauty of ten thousand worlds of paradises, like the Garden of Eden in one; put all trees, all flowers, all fragrances, all colors, all tastes, all joys, all loveliness, all sweetness in one. O what a lovely and excellent thing would that be! And yet it would be less compared to our dearest well-beloved Christ–than one drop of rain compared to the whole seas, rivers, and lakes of ten thousand earths.”¬†Samuel Rutherford

When He strikes us–as well as when He strokes us!

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When He strikes us–as well as when He strokes us!¬†

(Abraham Wright, 1611-1690)

“You have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons: My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He disciplines everyone He accepts as a son.” Hebrews 12:5-6¬†

We may feel God’s hand as a¬†Father¬†upon us,¬†when He strikes us–as well as when He strokes us!¬†

What fools are we, then, to frown upon our afflictions! These, however difficult, are our best friends. 

They are not indeed for our¬†pleasure–they are for our¬†profit. I am . . .
  mended by my sickness,
  enriched by my poverty, and
  strengthened by my weakness!

“God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. 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 12:10-11

That Man of sorrows, is the Savior of the world!

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That Man of sorrows, is the Savior of the world!

(Gardiner Spring)

O! Who was it that suffered?  What did He suffer?  For whom did He suffer? 

Think of Him–the Father’s fellow, and the church’s Beloved.¬†

Think of the Garden and the Cross, and see how they demonstrate on the one hand, the enormity of our guilt; and on the other, the force of His almighty love. 

Think of the debased and abject character of those for whom He died–depraved men, and the enemies of God!¬†

That Man of sorrows, is the Savior of the world! 

That naked, bleeding victim–is the mighty Conqueror of death and Hell!¬†

O what triumphs of love and of holiness were there, when . . .
  the earth trembled;
  and the sun grew dark;
  and the veil of the temple was rent in twain;
  and the rocks broke asunder;
  and the graves gave up their dead;
  and Hell itself was moved with terror;
¬† and the Great Redeemer exclaimed, “It is finished!”¬†

Christ is precious to all who believe!

Abraham¬†“rejoiced to see Christ’s day, and he saw it and was glad.”

Moses esteemed Him more precious than all the treasures of Egypt.

David¬†esteemed Him “fairer than the children of men.”

The Church in her divine songs speaks of Him . . . 
¬† as the “rose of Sharon and the lily of the valleys;”¬†
¬† as “the chief among ten thousand and the altogether lovely One;”
¬† and as the One whom “her soul loves.”

The wise men of the East adored Him.

Simeon¬†took Him up in his arms, and said, “Now Lord, let you your servant depart in peace, for my eyes have seen Your salvation!”

And to holy men wherever found, Jesus is precious! 
“The upright love You!”¬†
“Whom having not seen, you love.”¬†
“To you who believe, He is precious!”

In all your duties and trials–He will be precious.

When the world loses its charms–He will become more glorious and lovely than ever.¬†

When death invades–He will become its mighty conqueror.

When you sleep beneath the clods of the valley–He will be the resurrection and the life.¬†

When the books shall be opened, and small and great shall stand before God, and the precious Savior shall come in the clouds, and you shall go to be forever with the Lord–He shall be doubly precious, and more and more precious through interminable ages!

“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¬†

Building The Muscle Of Faith!

Two dumbbells made of fruitFor the past 6 months I’ve started training in the gym! I know it was a surprise for me too. lol. ūüė̬†

It came about when our friends Ben & Rosie had their latest son Leoin August 2017.  and while Sarah & i were visiting Rosie in hospital, Rosie mentioned that her son Vini(16 already) was going to the local Gym but needed some encouragement?!

Sarah quickly said ‚ÄúSteve knows loads about training at the gym and it would be great for Steve to get training again‚ÄĚ. I said ‚ÄúErm, i havn‚Äôt trained for over 20 years‚Ķ..And i could see back then. I‚Äôve tried Gyms since, but they are simply not accessible for me‚ÄĚ. My avoidance tactic didn‚Äôt work, lol.¬†

A huge, huge huge Thank you to Vini‚Ķ. ūüė̬†

I was excited about the prospect of training again as my blindness kills my mobility and i lose hope of exercise etc. But after meeting Vini at the Gym, i realised that there were quite a few machines i could do, i can’t see the dumbbell sizes(or even the dumbbells for that matter) but it doesn’t matter much as Vini sorts all of that out. But unfortunately i still have to lift them on my own!

 It is really, really hard work. Every time I train I leave the gym completely exhausted and feeling very sore the next few days. Nothing beats when you begin to feel good after a workout and to see improvements every time you go. Being able to lift heavier, for longer and knowing your body is beginning to adjust and change according to your routine. 

The Christian Walk With God Is a little Like Training At The Gym…

The beginner gym goer is like the newly saved christian who has to build up their relationship with Jesus and become more familiar with the word of God slowly and consistently.

Iron Sharpens Iron…

The beginner needs to be discipled and encouraged along their journey, and not keep looking to the mature ones and comparing themselves to them. You are now born again, like a new born babe. The fruit tree starts out as a seed so pride has to be beaten down like a baddie in a film that doesn’t want to die! Yes by the Spirit put to death the deeds of the body.

After the gym our bodies create muscle that wasn’t their before, it uses the energy and protein that our body stores and consumes through the food we eat. Like a muscle our faith can turn into something that it wasn’t before. If we feed it with the word of God, with prayer and fellowship with other christians we can have a stronger faith day by day.

Muscle fibres are being torn and broken down in the gym so they need repaired this causes pain for a few days after.

Sometimes growing in our faith and relationship with Jesus can be sore and uncomfortable as we will have to go through situations and rise up to challenges that seem difficult emotionally and physically but every time after this our faith will seem stronger than it was before if we keep being led by the Holy Spirit and not our fleshly desires.

So next time you‚Äôre at the gym, exercising, preparing healthy food or out for a walk etc, make sure to remember to schedule in your daily ‚Äėtraining‚Äô time with God and get building that ‚Äėmuscle‚Äô of faith.

ūüôŹ Prayer 4 2day‚Ķ..

Lord, I ask that you would bring me the wisdom, motivation, and ability to properly exercise my body. Stir me up to train all for the glory of God!

In Jesus name, Amen!

A spiritual playpen where the crying babies must be appeased!

A spiritual playpen where the crying babies must be appeased!

(Joseph Bianchi)

In the twenty-first century, we are obsessed with self-satisfaction and getting our desires met. Hence, any teaching that invades our lifestyle and tells us we must alter or discard out old habits, is usually consigned to the junk pile. In so thinking and doing, the church has been transformed into a spiritual playpen where the crying babies must be appeased with what makes them feel good.

The Evangelical world is abuzz with terms like “purpose driven church” or “seeker friendly church”. What these terms really amount to is one thing: compromise.

The goal of churches should not be to see how much like the world they can be, so as to make worldly people feel comfortable. Rather, the churches should be so unlike the world, so alien to the world, that the disillusioned unbeliever will be drawn to them.

“Do not be yoked together with unbelievers.
For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common?
Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
What harmony is there between Christ and Belial?
What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols?
For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: “I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people.” “Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you.” “I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:14-18

Religious entertainment!

Religious entertainment!

(A.W. Tozer)

A great company of evangelical churches have already gone over into the area of religious entertainment, so that many churches are tramping on the doorstep of the theater!

The tragic results of this spirit are all about us:
shallow lives,
hollow religious philosophies,
the preponderance of the element of fun in gospel meetings,
the glorification of men,
trust in religious externalities,
quasi-religious fellowships,
salesmanship methods,
the mistaking of dynamic personality for the power of the Spirit.

These and such as these, are the symptoms of an evil disease–a deep and serious malady of the soul.

Religious entertainment has so corrupted the Church, that millions don’t know that it’s a heresy. Millions of evangelicals throughout the world have devoted themselves to religious entertainment. They don’t know that it’s as much heresy, as the “counting of beads” or the “splashing of holy water” or something else. To expose this, of course, raises a storm of angry protest among the people.

Isn’t there a difference between worship and entertainment?

The church that can’t worship, must be entertained. And men who can’t lead a church to worship, must provide the entertainment. That is why we have the great evangelical heresy here today–the heresy of religious entertainment!

The God of contemporary Christianity!

The God of contemporary Christianity!

(A.W. Tozer)

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

The God of contemporary Christianity is only slightly superior to the pagan gods of ancient Greece and Rome–if indeed He is not actually inferior to them, in that He is weak and helpless–while they at least had some imagined power.

Among the sins to which the human heart is prone, hardly any other is more hateful to God than idolatry; for idolatry is at bottom a libel on His character. The idolatrous heart assumes that God is other than He is–in itself a monstrous sin–and substitutes for the true God, one made after its own likeness. Always this god will conform to the image of the one who created it–and will be base or pure, cruel or kind, according to the moral state of the mind from which it emerges.

The essence of idolatry, is the entertainment of thoughts about God that are unworthy of Him. Wrong ideas about God are not only the fountain from which the polluted waters of idolatry flow–they are themselves idolatrous. The idolater simply imagines things about God–and acts as if they were true.

If we insist upon trying to imagine Him–we end with an idol, made not with hands but with thoughts. And an idol of the mind, is as offensive to God as an idol of the hand!

Before a Christian Church goes into a decline, there must first be a corrupting of her Scriptural thoughts of God. She simply gives a wrong answer to the question, “What is God like?”–and goes downhill from there. Though she may continue to cling to a sound nominal creed–her practical working creed has become false. The masses of her adherents come to believe that God is different from what He actually is–and that is heresy of the most insidious and deadly kind!

The heaviest obligation lying upon the Christian Church today is to purify and elevate her concept of God, until it is once more worthy of Him–and of her!

Christlike

Countless little blemishes and flaws

(J.R. Miller, “Things That Endure”)

“Little things make perfection.” In nothing is this more true, than in character and conduct. There are many people who in great matters of principle, and in the cardinal virtues ‚ÄĒ are without fault; yet the luster of whose life is dimmed, by their countless little blemishes and flaws.

One man who is upright and steadfast, with the firmness of a rock ‚ÄĒ is hard to live with at home, because of his irritability or his despotic disposition.

Another is full of great benevolent and philanthropic schemes, doing good in many ways ‚ÄĒ yet those who know him most intimately, discover in him an almost utter lack of the sweet graces and amenities, which are the true adornment of a Christlike life.

It is in the little things, that most of our failures are made. Little faults thoroughly penetrate our characters.

Little sins ruin many a life.

There is a species of little white ants in Africa, which work desolation wherever they go. One may leave his chair at night and go to bed. In the morning the chair is there, apparently in good condition ‚ÄĒ but let him sit down on it, and it falls with him, in a heap on the floor! During the night, the white ants have eaten the inside out of the legs, seat and frame. Houses are in like manner destroyed. The timbers are bored through and through ‚ÄĒ until one day the building tumbles to the ground!

Just so, there are human lives which seem strong and right to men’s eyes ‚ÄĒ but countless infinitesimal faults and sins, eat away their substance, until they fall at last in hopeless ruin!

There is no doubt that the largest part of the pain and heartache endured in the world, is caused by multitudinous little failures in lovingness ‚ÄĒ by little, needless hurts and unkindnesses ‚ÄĒ rather than by life’s great and conspicuous sorrows.

It is not enough, therefore, that we seek to be true, honest and just, in all our life. We should learn all the lessons of love, so that in every disposition and temper and word, in every shade of expression ‚ÄĒ we shall be Christlike.

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 ‚ÄĒ 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
‚ÄĒ 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‚ÄĒHe 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‚ÄĒ

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‚ÄĒall will have no effect‚ÄĒall 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‚ÄĒand Apollos may water it; but God alone can make it grow! “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything‚ÄĒbut only God, who makes things grow!” 1 Corinthians 3:6, 7.

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

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

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

It is He alone‚ÄĒwho 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‚ÄĒwhat 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!

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.”

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.

Hold your hand in this fire!

Hold your hand in this fire!

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

“Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of Him to whom we must give account!” Hebrews 4:13

Take heed of what men call secret sins. There are only too many who continue in wickedness, because as they think, no one knows how wicked they are. They are drunkards–but it is in the night. They are immoral–but it is in the dark. Their mystery of iniquity trades in the works of darkness and in the dark. Indeed, if men could sin and no eye see them–then they might sin securely; but this is a falsehood as well as a mistake.

Once a young maiden was tempted to be unchaste. The person who solicited her, promised to do great things for her if she would yield.

“I will,” he said, “do anything for you!”

“Will you?” she said, “then hold your hand in this fire!”

“Oh, that is unreasonable!” he answered.

“But,” she replied, “it is much more unreasonable that I should burn forever in Hell for your sake! Who would venture his soul to eternal torment–to gratify his own or another’s pleasure and lust?”

We cannot escape God’s sight–any more than we can escape His judgment. He sees us, though like Adam and Eve we cover ourselves with fig-leaves. And He will one day call to us, as He did to them, “Sinner–where are you?”

You cannot flee from His presence. You may more easily hide from yourselves–than from God.

I hope you will say, for I am sure you will see cause to do so, “How shall I do this wickedness–and sin against God!”

“Can anyone hide in secret places so that I cannot see him? Do not I fill heaven and earth?” Jeremiah 23:24

Worse Than Devilish!

Worse than devilish!

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

“Fools mock at sin!” Proverbs 14:9¬†

Those who mock at sin, are worse than fools and madmen!

Tell them, as Lot told his sons-in-law of the danger and judgments which hang over their head–and, as with Lot, you seem to them as one who jokes. Genesis 19:14. They laugh at it, as if God were not in earnest when He threatens sinners–and as if those who preach against sin were deranged.¬†

“To do evil, is like sport to a fool!” Proverbs 10:23.

There are some who sport themselves on their way to Hell–as if sin were but a recreation! What fools are they–who laugh at their own folly and destruction! It is a devilish nature in us, to mock at the calamity of others–but to laugh at our own calamity, seems to be worse than devilish!

There are many, too many, who mourn under affliction–yet laugh over their sins! They sigh and weep when they feel any burden on their body–but make merry at that which destroys their soul! Can anything be more mad than this–to laugh, mock and make sport at that which eternally wrongs and damns their own souls!

The wicked laugh over their sin now. But if they do not repent–then they will weep forever in Hell over it!

We are all living monuments of God’s goodness and patience!

We are all living monuments of God’s goodness and patience!

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

“The Lord’s loving kindnesses indeed never cease–for His compassions never fail. They are new every morning! Great is Your faithfulness!” Lamentations 3:22-23

If sin is so exceedingly sinful–so contrary to, and displeasing to God–then surely . . .

His patience is exceedingly great,
His goodness is exceedingly rich, and
His long-suffering is exceedingly marvelous
–even such as to cause astonishment!

We are all living monuments of God’s goodness and patience! It is of the Lord’s mercies that all of us are not altogether and utterly consumed–and that in eternal Hell!

Such is . . .

the power of His patience,
the infiniteness of His mercy and compassion,
and the riches of His unsearchable grace!

Consider the multitude of sinners in the world. If it were only one or two sinners–then they might be winked at and passed by. But all the world lies in wickedness (1 John 5:19). There is none righteous–no, not one! If there had been only ten righteous ones–then God would have spared Sodom, although ten thousand sinners might be there. Yet there is not a single man to be found who does not sin. All have sinned–and that continually. What grace, then–what patience is this!

Consider the multitude of sins committed by every sinner. Every sinner commits innumerable sins! If all men had sinned only once–it would have mitigated the matter. Sin, however, has grown up with men. Not a single good thought is to be found in their hearts! (Genesis 6:5) Sin grows up faster than men do–they are old in sin, when still young in years. They are adding iniquity to iniquity, and drawing sin on with cords and ropes, committing it with both hands greedily, as if they could not sin enough! They dare God Himself to judge them. They drink down iniquity like water, as if it was their element and nourishment and pleasure also. Yet, behold, how miraculously patient is God!

God sees sin–He is sensible of it and angered about it–for it grieves and vexes Him. God is able to avenge Himself whenever He pleases–yet He forbears with sinners. Be astonished at it!

It is a wonder that men are spared so long–especially if we consider how quickly God cast the angels that sinned down to Hell!

O the wonder of sovereign grace!

Dead Fish Go With The Flow!

Dead Fish Go With The Flow!

Adapted From Calvin Schlabach

‚ÄúBE DIFFERENT! Don‚Äôt go with the flow!‚ÄĚ we are urged. ‚ÄúDon‚Äôt follow the crowd! Even a dead fish can float downstream.‚ÄĚ It does not take any effort or work on the part of a fish to go with the flow and drift downstEven a dead fish can float. Only a living and healthy fish can swim against the current and travel upstream. In the same way, any weak Christian can live like the world; it takes a vital, healthy faith to enable someone to stand on their convictions, firm against the tide of opinion and the example of unbelievers.

Perhaps we can carry the analogy a bit further. With the polluted condition of many of our modern streams and rivers, it is not only dead fish that float downstream. Trash, industrial waste, and pollutants of one kind or another floats downstream. A fish that travels in that direction finds itself swimming in increasingly fouled and filthy waters. The purest, cleanest waters are found farther upstream nearer the source, where people rarely go. What kind of water would you rather swim in? What kind of life would you rather have? Pure waters are reached only by swimming against the current!

Obviously, we do not want to be one of those wimpy, weak-willed, dead-fish Christians; yet it is so easy to go with the flow and follow the crowd. If we carelessly live like everyone else, we will find ourselves surrounded by the pollution of sin. Is there any way out of this mess? What does it take for us to be able to swim against the current and move farther upstream? I suggest that we need to concentrate on five main points.

Convictions

We will have to know what we believe and then hold to it strongly, for, as it has often been said, those who stand for nothing will fall for anything. We are given the teachings of the apostles and prophets so that we may ‚Äúno longer be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine‚ÄĚ (Ephesians 4:14). We must read our Bibles, accept the principles we find there as our standard of conduct, and then stand firmly on scriptural convictions! How rare it is to see that today! Most of us are so caught up in feelings and tradition, we do not allow truth to shine through.

Courage

The unbelievers will not make it to heaven: ‚ÄúBut for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns¬†with fire and brimstone, which is the second death‚ÄĚ (Revelation 21:8). When they see that God‚Äôs way will require them to leave the false security of doing what all the rest of the world is doing and strike out on their own, their hearts will fail them. Rather than standing against the crowd with the courage of convictions (Romans 8:31), they take the easy way out, turning back to the world, to sin and condemnation. Joshua said, ‚ÄúBe strong and courageous! Do not tremble or be dismayed, for the Lord you God is with you wherever you go‚ÄĚ (1:9).

Strength

We must have power and might to stand firmly against the flood of evil that would swiftly sweep us downstream to our destruction. Paul said, ‚ÄúBe on the alert, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong‚ÄĚ (1 Corinthians 16:13). We could not successfully withstand temptation and sin that threatens our spiritual well-being by ourselves. Therefore, we are called to ‚Äúbe strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might‚ÄĚ (Ephesians 6:10). Fortified with power that comes only from God (Ephesians 3:16), we can say with Paul, ‚ÄúI can do all things through Him who strengthens me‚ÄĚ (Philippians 4:13).

Endurance

For most of us, the Christian race is not a brief sprint to the finish line, but rather it is a long, grueling marathon. Listen to the words of the Hebrew writer, ‚ÄúYou have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised … ‚ÄėMy righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him‚Äô‚ÄĚ (10:36, 38). It is so sad to see those who have started on the Christian way later give up, forfeiting the race. They did not have the the long-distance endurance to run the race through to the end. Therefore, ‚Äúlet us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus‚ÄĚ (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Heavenly Goals

The reason we want to travel upstream is because we are seeking something better and higher than the careless world around us. We are not trying to be different from the world just for the sake of being different. We are different because we are pursuing different goals. We have to keep these goals continually before us. Paul said, ‚ÄúKeep seeking the things above, where Christ is … Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth‚ÄĚ (Colossians 3:1-2). Raise your sights! Don‚Äôt follow the foolish crowd!

You Have Kept Me Alive

Psalm 30:3-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

Seeing that we deserve nothing–we should be content with, and thankful for anything!

Seeing that we deserve nothing–we should be content with, and thankful for anything!

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

It has been every man’s lot to come into and go out of this world naked–to show that he has no right to anything, but lives on the alms of God’s charity and grace. All that we have or hold between our birth and death–is the mere gift of God.

God might choose whether He would allow us anything or not; and when He has given–He may take back again, and none of us has cause to say anything but what Job said:

“Naked I came into the world–and naked I shall return. The Lord has given–and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!” Job 1:21

All that we have, our food and clothing and belongings–are only lent to us. Therefore, seeing that we deserve nothing–we should be content with, and thankful for anything.

“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” 1 Timothy 6:7-8

The Christian Message

‚ÄúThe Christian message is not an inclusive message that embraces all religions; it‚Äôs not a message that there are many paths to the same place. The Christian message is summed up in the brave words of Peter before the Sanhedrin: ‚ÄúJesus is ‚Äėthe stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.‚Äô Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved‚ÄĚ (Acts 4:11‚Äď12).‚ÄĚ

Michael Youssef, Jesus, Jihad and Peace: What Bible Prophecy Says About World Events Today

Weekly Photo Challenge: Heritage

Sarah  i playing at church

This weeks ‚ÄúPhoto Challenge‚ÄĚ left me with so many options i didn‚Äôt know where to start!¬†

The photo above is one of Sarah & i‚Äôs favourites and is on our side-board. I thought‚Ķ..‚ÄĚHeritage‚ÄĚ – It has the church building which was built way before our time. ‚ÄúHeritage‚ÄĚ – The guitar i‚Äôm playing(and not worthy of holding, never mind owning) was built by a fantastic Luthier. ‚ÄúHeritage‚ÄĚ – And more important than all of this is the Holy Covenant of Marriage that glues Sarah and i together in the power of His promises!¬†

I could go on & on‚Ķ..But i‚Äôll stop here and go and check out your posts on the challenge! ūüôā¬†

Do not be led astray by all kinds of strange teachings!

Do not be led astray by all kinds of strange teachings!

(J.C. Ryle, 1816-1900)

“Do not be led astray by all kinds of strange teachings!” Hebrews 13:9

Many things combine to make the present inroad of false doctrine peculiarly dangerous.

There is an undeniable zeal in some of the teachers of error–and their ‘earnestness’ makes many think they must be right.

There is a great appearance of learning and theological knowledge–and many imagine that such clever and intellectual men must surely be safe guides.

There is a general tendency to free thought in these latter days–many like to prove their independence of judgment, by believing novelties.

There is a wide-spread desire to appear tolerant and liberal-minded–many seem half ashamed of saying that anybody can be in the wrong.

There is a quantity of half-truth taught by the modern false teachers–they are incessantly using Scriptural terms and phrases in an unscriptural sense.

There is a morbid craving in the public mind for the more sensational and showy–men are impatient of inward, invisible heart-work.

There is a silly readiness in every direction to believe everybody who talks cleverly and earnestly–and a determination to forget that Satan is often “transformed into an angel of light.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

There is a wide-spread ‘gullibility’ among professing Christians–every heretic who tells his story plausibly, is sure to be believed. Anyone who questions him, is called a bigot and a narrow-minded man.

All these things are peculiar symptoms of our times. I defy any observing man to deny them. They tend to make the assaults of false doctrine in our day peculiarly dangerous. They make it more than ever needful to cry aloud, “Do not be led astray by all kinds of strange teachings!”

An ignorant laity will always be the bane of a Church! A Bible-reading laity may save a Church from ruin.

Let us read the Bible regularly, daily, and with fervent prayer, and become familiar with its contents.

Let us receive nothing, believe nothing, follow nothing–which is not in the Bible, nor can be proved by the Bible.

Let our rule of faith, our touchstone of all teaching–be the written Word of God!

“To the law and to the testimony! If they do not speak according to this Word–it is because there is no light in them!” Isaiah 8:20

An arm that can never be broken!

An arm that can never be broken!

(J. R. Miller, “A Life of Character”)

“The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms!” Deuteronomy 33:27

The picture suggested, is that of a little child, lying in the strong arms of a father who is able to withstand all storms and dangers.

At the two extremes of life, childhood and old age–this promise comes with special assurance.

“He shall gather the lambs in His arms, and carry them in His bosom” (Isaiah 40:11), is a word for the children.

“Even to your old age and gray hairs I am He; 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), brings its blessed comfort to the aged.

The thought of God’s embracing arms is very suggestive. What does an arm represent? What is the thought suggested by the arm of God enfolded around His child?

One suggestion, is protection. As a father puts his arm about his child when it is in danger–so God protects His children. Life is full of peril. There are temptations on every hand! Enemies lurk in every shadow–enemies strong and swift! Yet we are assured that nothing can separate us from the love of God. “Underneath are the everlasting arms!”

Another thought, is affection. The father’s arm drawn around a child–is a token of love. The child is held in the father’s bosom, near his heart. The shepherd carries the lambs in his bosom. John lay on Jesus’ bosom. The mother holds the child in her bosom, because she loves it. This picture of God embracing His children in His arms–tells of His love for them–His love is tender, close, intimate.

Another thought suggested by an arm, is strength. The arm is a symbol of strength. His arm is omnipotence. “In the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength” (Isaiah 26:4). His is an arm that can never be broken! Out of this clasp–we can never be taken. “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish–ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand!” (John 10:28)

Another suggestion is endurance. The arms of God are “everlasting.” Human arms grow weary even in love’s embrace; they cannot forever press the child to the bosom. Soon they lie folded in death.

A husband stood by the coffin of his beloved wife after only one short year of wedded happiness. The clasp of that love was very sweet–but how brief a time it lasted, and how desolate was the life that had lost the precious companionship!

A little baby two weeks old–was left motherless. The mother clasped the child to her bosom and drew her feeble arms about it in one loving embrace; the little one will never more have a mother’s arm around it.

So pathetic is human life with–its broken affections, its little moments of love, its embraces that are torn away in one hour. But these arms of God–are everlasting arms! They shall never unclasp!

There is another important suggestion in the word “underneath.” Not only do the arms of God embrace His child–but they are underneath–always underneath! That means that we can never sink–for these arms will ever be beneath us!

Sometimes we say the waters of trouble are very deep–like great floods they roll over us. But still and forever, underneath the deepest floods–are these everlasting arms! We cannot sink below them–or out of their clasp!

And when death comes, and every earthly thing is gone from beneath us, and we sink away into what seems darkness–out of all human love, out of warmth and gladness and life–into the gloom and strange mystery of death–still it will only be–into the everlasting arms!

This view of God’s divine care is full of inspiration and comfort. We are not saving ourselves. A strong One, the mighty God–holds us in His omnipotent clasp! We are not tossed like a leaf on life’s wild sea–driven at the mercy of wind and wave. We are in divine keeping. Our security does not depend upon our own feeble, wavering faith–but upon the omnipotence, the love, and the faithfulness of the unchanging, the eternal God!

No power in the universe can snatch us out of His hands! Neither death nor life, nor things present, nor things to come–can separate us from His everlasting arms!

Admire The God Of Free Grace

Admire The God Of Free Grace

(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

“Look to the rock from whence you were hewn, and to the pit from whence you were dug!” Isaiah 51:1

It is profitable for the children of God often to . . .reflect on what they formerly were, meditate on their once wretched and helpless condition, look to the rock whence they were hewn, and to the pit whence they were dug.

Look back, then, Christians, to the time when you were . . .

the enemies of God,
the despisers of His Son,
the willing slaves of the father of lies,
and children of disobedience!

Look back to the time when . . .

your hearts were as hard as the nether millstone;
your understandings were darkened;
you were alienated from the life of God;
your wills were stubborn, perverse and rebellious;
your affections were madly bent on the pleasures of sin;
every imagination of the thoughts of your heart were only evil, and continually evil!

Look back with shame and self-abhorrence to the time when you . . .

lived without God in the world,
drank in iniquity like water,
served various lusts and vanities,
fulfilled the sinful desires of the flesh and mind,
cast God’s holy law behind your backs,
stifled the remonstrances of conscience,
quenched the influences of the Spirit,
neglected the Holy Scriptures, and
mocked God with pretended worship, while your hearts were far from Him.

A rebel against God,
a resister of the Spirit,
a slave of Satan,
a child of wrath,
an heir of Hell

such, O Christian, was once your character!
Nothing was then before you, but a fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation!

Admire the God of free grace–who save you from such a dreadful plight!

O Lord, There Is None Like You!

When that monster of a man hung!

(James Smith, “The Believer’s Companion in Seasons of Affliction and Trouble” 1842)

“O Lord, there is none like You!” 1 Chronicles 17:20

Truly, our God is without a parallel!

He could dash His enemies to Hell with one word, and drive them to despair. But instead of this, He constantly provides for them–and many of them are fed by Him with the richest blessings of His providence. He . . .

spreads their tables,
supplies their needs, and
pours His favors upon them abundantly–though they . . .
blaspheme His name,
despise the mention of His grace, and
bid Him to depart from them, in disdain!

He preserves them from a variety of dangers, which would otherwise hurry them out of time into eternity.

He bears with them from day to day, and does not allow their wickedness to arouse His ire, to their immediate destruction. Who, besides Jehovah, would thus feed, preserve, warn, and bear with such obstinate, careless, provoking wretches? Surely none!

“What base rebellious wretches they;
And God as strangely kind!”

When, in His own time, any of His enemies are brought to discover their wickedness, feel their danger, desire to escape their deserved doom, and apply to Him–He freely pardons them, and forgets all their past unkindness!

When that monster of a man hung by the side of Jesus on the cross, mocking His dying agonies, reviling His dear name, and endeavoring to add to His tremendous sorrows–Jesus was as silent as one who heard not, as patient as one who felt not, and as kind as one who had been treated with all possible respect! For, no sooner does the bold blasphemer cry, “Lord remember me!” than Jesus answers, “Today you shall be with Me in paradise!”

And can you, O my Savior, freely and fully pardon such a wretch as that? Can you take him in Your arms, to paradise? Can you forget his scarlet crimes, the insults he offered, and the daring wickedness manifested by him but a few minutes before? “O Lord, there is none like You!”

The vile thief enters Heaven, to . . .
the astonishment of angels,
the confusion of devils,
the wonder of glorified saints, and
the honor of the dear, dear Redeemer!

Jesus not only fully pardons the penitent–but He cordially accepts him! He receives him as one of the dear objects of His love, and says to each and every one such, “I have blotted out your sins as a cloud, and your iniquities as a thick cloud!”

He kindly visits them, as though they had never acted unkindly toward Him; and constantly blesses them with spiritual, holy, and eternal blessings. He . . .

clothes them with the garments of His righteousness,
beautifies them with the graces of His Spirit,
comforts them with the promises of His love,
acknowledges them at His throne of grace,
defends them against their cruel and malicious foes,
tenderly expostulates with them when they wander from Him,
mercifully warns them of their dangers and foes,
kindly exhorts them to cleave close to Himself,
wisely corrects them when they wickedly stray, and
will crown them with glory at the end of their race!

And what returns does He frequently get for His kindness and love? Alas! alas! Too often, ingratitude, rebellion, hardness of heart, alienation of affection, forgetfulness of His mercies, and following after other lovers rather than Himself!

“O Lord, there is none like You!” 1 Chronicles 17:20

Are You Hungry?

Are you hungry?

from Spurgeon’s sermon, “BREAD FOR THE HUNGRY”

We should come to hear the Word, like baby birds in the nest‚ÄĒ¬†when the mother-bird comes with the worm, they are all¬†stretching their necks to see which one shall get the food,¬†for they are all hungry and want it.

And so should hearers be ready to get hold of the Word, not wanting that we should force it down their throats, but waiting there, opening their mouths wide that they may be filled, receiving the Word in the love of it, taking in the Word as the thirsty earth drinks in the rain of heaven.

Hungry souls love the Word.

Perhaps the ‘speaker’ may not always put it as they may like to¬†hear it, but as long as it is God’s Word, it is enough for them.

They are like people who are sitting at the reading of a will‚ÄĒ¬†the lawyer may have a squeaking voice, perhaps, or he¬†mispronounces the words, but what does that matter?¬†They are listening to see what is left to them.

So is it with God’s people. It is not the preacher,¬†but the ‘preacher’s God’ that these hungry ones look to.

Why, if you were very poor, and some benevolent neighbor should send you a loaf of bread by a man who had a club foot, you would not look at the foot, you would look at the bread.

And so is it with the hearers of the Word– they know if they¬†wait until they get a perfect preacher, they will get no preacher¬†at all, but they are willing to take the man, imperfections and all,¬†provided he brings the Master’s bread.

And though he be but a lad, and can bring but a few barley loaves and fishes, yet since the Master multiplies the provision, there is enough for all, and they feed to the full. 

Deceitful & Desperately Wicked!

Deceitful & desperately wicked!

(William S. Plumer, “Sinners Saved by Unmerited Kindness”)

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is?” Jeremiah 17:9

The heart is DECEITFUL. Man is the only creature on earth that seems to practice self-deception. That we should sometimes deceive others, is proof of our depravity; but that we should spend our lives in self-deception, is truly astonishing! Men of the fewest virtues, commonly have the highest thoughts of themselves. How strange and yet how common, that he whose heart has deceived him a thousand times–should yet confide in it as if it had always been honest!

The human heart deceives every being but one. It would deceive Him–if He were not omniscient. None but God knows all the depths of iniquity and duplicity within us.

Though the language of the Bible is strong, it is just. God declares, and every Christian knows by sad experience–that his heart is deceitful above all things. A perfect knowledge of the treachery of our hearts, is possessed by none but God.

The heart is also VILE. It is “desperately wicked.”
It loves vanity, and folly and sin.
It hates holiness, and truth and divine restraints.

It is . . .
a sink of iniquity,
a pool of pestilential waters,
a cage of unclean birds, and
a sepulcher full of dead men’s bones!
It is torn by wild, fierce, unhallowed passions.
It rejects good–and chooses evil.
It is wholly corrupt.
It is full of evil.
There is no soundness in it.

“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.” Matthew 15:19

“He who trusts in his own heart is a fool!” Proverbs 28:26

Suck The Honey Out Of It!

Suck the honey out of it!

Spurgeon’s sermon, “The Minstrel”

It is wonderful the effect of a single verse of Scripture when the Spirit of God applies it to the soul.

What power would come upon the soul, if we would grasp a single line of Scripture and suck the honey out of it till our soul is filled with sweetness.

Read Your Bible!

Read Your Bible

by Spurgeon

You know more about your ledgers than your Bible; you know more about your magazines and novels than what God has written; many of you will read a novel from the beginning to the end, and what have you got? A mouthful of foam when you are done. But you cannot re ad the Bible; that solid, lasting, substantial, and satisfying food goes uneaten, locked up in the cupboard of neglect; while anything that a man writes, a best seller of the day, is greedily devoured.

“I have not departed from the commands of his lips; I have¬†treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread.”
Job 23:12

Slighted, disobeyed, and dishonored by His creatures on earth!

Slighted, disobeyed, and dishonored by His creatures on earth!

(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

I look up to Heaven and there see the blessed and only Potentate, the Creator and Upholder of all things, the infinite and eternal Sovereign of the universe–governing His vast kingdom with uncontrollable power, in a manner perfectly wise and holy and just and good. In this Being, I see my Creator, my Preserver, my unwearied Benefactor–to whom I am indebted for everything which I possess.

And what does this Being see–what has He seen, in me? He sees a frail worm of the dust, who is of yesterday and knows nothing, who cannot take a single step without making mistakes, who is wholly incompetent to guide himself, and who, by his own folly, is self-destroyed. He has seen this frail, blind, erring worm, presumptuously daring to criticize and censure His proceedings, attempting to interfere in His government of the universe; and trying to set up his own perverse will against the will of his Creator, his Sovereign, and his God; his own ignorance–against divine omniscience, and his own folly–against infinite wisdom.

Should an angel who knew nothing of our characters, but who had heard of the blessings which God has bestowed on us, visit this world–would he not expect to find every part of it resounding with the praises of God and His love? Would he not expect to hear old and young, parents and children–all blessing God for the glad tidings of the gospel?

How, then, would he be grieved and disappointed! How astonished would he be to find that Being whom he had ever heard praised in the most rapturous strains by all the bright armies of Heaven–slighted, disobeyed, and dishonored by His creatures on earth!

O, then, let us strive to wipe away this foul stain–this disgrace to our race and our world.

Let not this world be the only place, except Hell–where God is not praised.

Let us not be the only creatures, except devils–who refuse to praise Him!

We’re A Million, Billion Miles Away From New Testament Christianity!

I went to a church not along ago ‚ÄĒ they got thirty acres. So what are their plans with it? They want their own football field and tennis courts. Dear God, do we go to church to learn to play tennis? God help the preachers!

We have such an accommodating Christianity today.

The best title of the professing church of God today, in my judgment, is “Unbelieving Believers.” There’s cancer in the church tonight!

At this grim hour, the world sleeps in the darkness ‚ÄĒ and the Church sleeps in the light.

You’ll never get me to believe that the church today believes in Hell.

We’re a million, billion miles away from New Testament Christianity!

I doubt if 5% of professing Christians in America are born again!

Entertainment is the devil’s substitute for joy. The more joy you have in the Lord, the less entertainment you need.

Is the world crucified to you ‚ÄĒ or does it fascinate you?

The apostles had no gold, but lots of glory. We have lots of gold, but no glory.
The book of Acts shows us the church before it became fat and short of breath by prosperity!

Who or what takes priority over God in our lives?

Where, oh, where are the eternity-conscious believers?

Where are the souls white-hot for God because they fear His holy name and presence and so live with eternity’s values in view?

There’s no cost of being a Christian!

I’d rather have ten people who want God ‚ÄĒ than 10,000 people who want to play church!

(Leonard Ravenhill)

Who Can Find A Virtuous Woman?

Who can find a virtuous woman?

(Matthew Henry)

“Who can find a virtuous woman? Her price is far above rubies!” Proverbs 31:10

The description of the virtuous woman given in Proverbs 31, is designed to show what kind of wives godly women should make ‚ÄĒ and what wives godly men should choose.

A virtuous woman is very assiduous to recommend herself to her husband’s esteem and affection. She conducts herself so that he may repose an entire confidence in her. She shows her love to him, not by a foolish fondness ‚ÄĒ but by prudent endearments, accommodating herself to his temperament.

A virtuous woman is one who takes pains in her duties. She hates to sit idle and do nothing. Though she may not need to work for her bread, yet she will not eat the bread of idleness.

A virtuous woman takes care of her family and all the affairs of it, not meddling in the concerns of other people’s houses, as she thinks it enough for her to look well to her own affairs.

A virtuous woman is charitable to the poor. She often serves the poor with her own hand, and she does it freely, cheerfully, and very liberally.

A virtuous woman is discreet and obliging in all her discourse ‚ÄĒ not talkative, censorious, nor peevish. When she does speak, it is with a great deal of prudence and very much to the purpose. The law of love and kindness is written in her heart ‚ÄĒ and it shows itself in her tongue!

A virtuous woman has a firmness and constancy of mind, to bear up under the many crosses and disappointments which even the wise and godly must expect to meet with in this poor world.

That which completes and crowns her character, is that she fears the Lord. With all these good qualities, she does not lack that one thing needful ‚ÄĒ she is truly pious. In all she does, she is guided and governed by Christian principles, and a regard to God.

In the day of death, it will be a pleasure for her to think that she has lived to some good purpose. True virtue will have its praise ‚ÄĒ both from God and man.

“Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised!” Proverbs 31:30

The Dirty Lane!

The dirty lane!

(Thomas Brooks, “Words of Counsel to a Dear Dying Friend”)

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

Look upon your dying day as a gainful day. There is no gain compared to that which comes in by death. A Christian gets more by death, than he does by life. To be in Christ is very good–but to be with Christ is best of all, “I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far!” Philippians 1:23. It was a mighty blessing for Christ to be with Paul on earth–but it was the top of blessings for Paul to be with Christ in Heaven! Seriously consider these things:

By death you shall gain incomparable crowns!

A crown of life, Revelation 2:10, James 1:12.
A crown of righteousness, 2 Timothy 4:8.
An incorruptible crown, 1 Corinthians 9:24-25.
A crown of glory, 1 Peter 5:4.

There are no crowns compared to these crowns!

By death you shall gain a glorious kingdom! “It is your Father’s pleasure to give you a kingdom!” We must put off their rags of mortality–that we may put on our robes of glory! There is no entering into paradise–but under the flaming sword of this angel, death–who stands at the gate.

Death is the dirty lane through which the saint passes . . .

to a kingdom,
to a great kingdom,
to a glorious kingdom,
to a peaceful kingdom,
to an unshaken kingdom,
to a durable kingdom,
to a lasting kingdom, yes,
to an everlasting kingdom!

Death is the dark, short way, through which the saints pass to the marriage-supper of the Lamb!

He Will Sustain You!

He will sustain you!

(J.R. Miller)

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

The promise is not that the Lord will remove the load we cast upon Him, nor that He will carry it for us–but that He will sustain us so that we may carry it.¬†

He does not free us from the duty–but He strengthens us for it.
He does not deliver us from the conflict–but He enables us to overcome.
He does not withhold or withdraw the trial from us–but He helps us in trial to be submissive and victorious, and makes it a blessing to us.
He does not mitigate the hardness or severity of our circumstances, taking away the difficult elements, removing the thorns, making life easy for us–but He puts Divine grace into our hearts, so that we can live sweetly in all the hard, adverse circumstances.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!” Philippians 4:13

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