Tag Archives: Christian Quotes

A diligent pupil in the College of Contentment

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A diligent pupil in the College of Contentment 

(Charles Spurgeon)

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

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

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

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

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

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

People never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it

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People never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it

(J.C. Ryle, Thoughts For Young Men)

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

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

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

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

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

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

What a pavilion of comfort is this!

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What a pavilion of comfort is this!

(Octavius Winslow)

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

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

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

The Bible is always a new book to those well acquainted with it!

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The Bible is always a new book to those well acquainted with it!

(Arthur Pink, “The Divine Inspiration of the Bible“)

Although one may know, word for word, the entire contents of some chapter of Scripture; and although he may have taken the time to thoughtfully ponder every sentence therein–yet, on every subsequent occasion, provided one comes to it again in the spirit of humble inquiry, each fresh reading will reveal new¬†gems¬†never seen there before and new¬†delights¬†will be experienced never met with previously. The most familiar passages will yield as much refreshment at the thousandth perusal–as they did at the first!¬†

The Bible has been likened to a fountain of living water–the fountain is ever the same, but the water is always fresh!

They seek to banish such a God from their thoughts!

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They seek to banish such a God from their thoughts!

(Arthur Pink)

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

The only God against whom the natural man is not at enmity–is one of his own imagination! The deity whom he professes to worship, is not the living God–for He is truth and faithfulness,¬†holiness¬†and¬†justice, as well as being gracious and merciful.

It is a god of their own devising–and not the God of Holy Writ, whom the ungodly believe in!¬†

“They say: How can God know? Does the Most High even know what is happening?” Psalm 73:11
They would strip Deity of His omniscience if they could! 
The wicked wish that there might be . . .
  no Witness of their sins,
  no Searcher of their hearts,
  no Judge of their deeds!
They seek to banish such a God from their thoughts!

What a proof that “the carnal mind is enmity against God!”¬†

Such is the portion awaiting the lost: 
  eternal separation from the fountain of all goodness; 
  everlasting punishment; 
  torment of soul and body; 
  endless existence in the Lake of Fire;
  forever locked up with demons and the vilest of the vile; 
  every ray of hope excluded; and
  utterly crushed and overwhelmed by the wrath of a sin-avenging God!
“Consider this, you who forget God–or I will tear you to pieces, with none to rescue!” Psalm 50:22

The line between the Church and the world seems completely effaced and forgotten!

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The line between the Church and the world seems completely effaced and forgotten!

(J.C. Ryle, 1884)

“For if the trumpet makes an¬†uncertain sound, who will prepare himself for battle?” 1 Corinthians 14:8¬†

We need a more certain sound about personal holiness. I fear that the standard of holy living is lower just now than it has been for many years. Professing Christians seem unable to realize that there is anything inconsistent in ball-going, theater-going, gambling, card-playing, excessive dressing, novel-reading, and an incessant round of gaiety and amusements! 

The line between the Church and the world seems completely effaced and forgotten!

A crucified life of self-denial and close walking with God, a life of real devotedness and zeal for holy living–is hardly ever to be seen!¬†

Yet surely our Lord meant something when He spoke of “taking up the cross!”¬†

Surely Paul meant something when he said, 
¬† “Come out from among them and be separate!”¬†
¬† “Be not conformed to this world!”¬†
¬† “Without holiness no man shall see the Lord!”¬†

If Christ returns the second time in this generation, we shall find His words about the days of Noah and Lot fully verified. Those days are upon us!

“Just as it was in the days of¬†Noah, so also will it be in the days of the Son of Man. People were eating, drinking, marrying and being given in marriage up to the day Noah entered the ark. Then the flood came and destroyed them all!”
“It was the same in the days of¬†Lot. People were eating and drinking, buying and selling, planting and building. But the day Lot left Sodom, fire and sulfur rained down from heaven and destroyed them all!” Luke 17:26-29¬†

“Ask for the¬†old paths, where the good way is–and walk in it. Then you will find rest for your souls.” Jeremiah 6:16

His mercy is a boundless, fathomless, endless ocean!

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His mercy is a boundless, fathomless, endless ocean!

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

“You, O Lord, are good, and ready to forgive–and abundant in mercy to all who call upon You.” Psalm 86:5¬†

What a beautiful representation of God is this! How comforting, at the close of another day’s cares and troubles, sorrows and sins–to be reminded that our “God is good,” and especially that He is “ready to forgive”–ready to pardon all the faults and follies of this day–ready to pass them by, and still treat me as His beloved child!

He only requires me to confess and be sorry for my sins–and in a moment, all is forgiven, all is forgotten, and forgotten forever!¬†

Then He is “abundant in mercy.” The¬†fountain of His mercy¬†has not yet run dry. Run dry! It is not in the least diminished!¬†His mercy is a boundless, fathomless, endless ocean!

God has plenty of mercy for miserable sinners . . .
  mercy to pardon them,
  mercy to purify them,
  mercy to comfort them,
¬† mercy to¬†save¬†them–
mercy for all who call upon Him!

O my soul, take home tonight this lovely representation of your God, and believing that He is good, ready to forgive, and abundant in mercy–go to Him, call upon Him, and plead with Him. Then you may obtain mercy, and find grace to help you in every time of need.¬†

Good and gracious God, I adore You for Your goodness; I bless You that You are ready to forgive; I rejoice that You are abundant in mercy. And now, O Lord, glorify Your mercy in me–show Your readiness to forgive, in me! Let my heart be eased of every sorrow–and let my conscience be cleansed from every sin! Let me lie down to rest tonight guiltless–rejoicing in the glorious fact that You have blotted out my sins as a cloud, and my transgressions as a thick cloud, and are now at eternal peace with me!

 

Whence does it come?

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Whence does it come?

(Francis Bourdillon, “Man is Born to Trouble!” 1864)

Affliction¬†does not come from the dust–nor does¬†trouble¬†sprout from the ground. For man is born unto trouble–as surely as sparks fly upward.” Job 5:6-7

Affliction does not come of itself; it does not spring up from the dust of the earth, nor grow naturally from the ground, as plants do; nor has¬†chance¬†anything whatever to do with it. As¬†common¬†as it is–affliction does not come without a cause, or without being sent on purpose by God.

Yet affliction does fall to the lot of all. No one, however prosperous, is without sorrow and trial. Sooner or later: “Man is born unto trouble–as surely as sparks fly upward.” As surely as sparks go up from anything burning, or from iron beaten on the anvil–so surely does trouble in some shape befall every man who is born into the world.

Whence does it come?¬†God sends it–or at least allows it to come. But it is not saying too much, to say that He¬†sends¬†it.

When Adam fell and¬†sin¬†and death entered into the world–then¬†trouble¬†came too. This was God’s appointment. He said to Adam, “Because you have listened unto the voice of your wife, and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you–cursed is the ground for your sake; in sorrow shall you eat of it all the days of your life; thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to you; in the sweat of your face shall you eat bread, until you return unto the ground; for out of it were you taken–for dust you are, and unto dust shall you return.”

And not only is trouble¬†in general¬†appointed to man by God–but¬†each man’s particular trouble¬†is of God’s appointment as well. Your troubles and mine do not come forth of the dust or spring out of the ground. They do not arise by¬†chance¬†or¬†accident. God sends them! Sickness and sorrow are ordained for us by Him–each sickness and each sorrow as it comes. We do not see the hand that sends them, but a hand there is–the hand of God!

Job’s troubles¬†were many and great–yet let him not despair. Everything was in God’s hand. All that happened was ordered by Him–all was subject to His control. “At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:¬†“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,¬†and naked I will depart.¬†The Lord¬†gave–and the Lord has¬†taken away;¬†may the name of the¬†Lord¬†be praised.”¬†Job 1:20-21¬†

To all who truly know God–it is a most comforting thought that¬†their affliction comes from Him. It seems to take away the¬†strangeness¬†and the¬†bitterness¬†of it. When once they can realize His hand, then in all their sorrowful thoughts about their afflictions–they think about God too, and this comforts them. It is no longer mere trouble–but trouble which¬†God¬†has sent. If He has sent it–then it is¬†wisely¬†and¬†kindly¬†sent. Is there not a hidden blessing in it? Then the heart goes in search of the blessing and begins to ask¬†why¬†the trouble was sent, what it was meant to do, and how far it has done what it was sent for. And this is the very way to find the blessing.

Besides, when the sufferer thus sees the hand of God in trouble–he reasons that¬†God will never let the trouble be too great. If He sends it–He will not send it too sharply, nor too heavily. There is¬†no chance¬†about it.¬†All is measured and dealt out by an omnipotent hand of wisdom and love!¬†The affliction, therefore, cannot become too sore. When the right point has been reached, when the fit time has come–then He who sent it will say, “Hitherto shall you come, but no further!”

We need to be on our guard against Solomonian religion!

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We need to be on our guard against Solomonian religion!

(J.R. Miller)

“As Solomon grew old, his wives turned his heart after other gods, and his¬†heart¬†was not fully devoted to the Lord his God.” 1 Kings 11:4¬†

The trouble was all in Solomon’s heart! It is the heart which needs watching and keeping with all diligence. The heart must be wholly devoted in its aim and motive, to God and His service.

Solomon had a corner in his heart for the Lord–and then other corners for the gods of all the other nations. The Savior’s words are: “You cannot serve both God and mammon.”

We need to be on our guard against Solomonian religion!¬†There is plenty of it these days. It abhors the preaching of the stern truths of God’s Word about sin and punishment, and about holiness.¬†It sends well-near everybody to Heaven–and regards Hell as a mere fable!¬†It calls holy Christians “puritanic” or “strait-laced.” It calls great sins “escapades,” and finds no use for such psalms as the fifty-first.

It is not hard to see in this verse, however–which of the two kinds of religion pleases God best, and which leads to the best end.

Self-sins!

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Self-sins!

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be¬†lovers of themselves” 2 Timothy 3:1-2¬†

(A.W. Tozer)

We all have a number of self-sins:
  self-righteousness,
  self-pity,
  self-confidence,
  self-sufficiency,
  self-admiration,
  self-worth,
  self-love and 
  a host of others like them!
These self-sins are not something we¬†do, they are something we¬†are–and therein lies both their subtlety and their power. They dwell too deep within us and are too much a part of our natures, to come to our attention–until the light of God is focused upon them.¬†

The grosser manifestations of these sins–egotism, pride, arrogance, self-elevation, self-promotion–are strangely tolerated in¬†Christian leaders, even in circles of impeccable orthodoxy! They are so much in evidence as actually, for many people, to become identified with the gospel. I trust that it is not a cynical observation to say that they appear these days to be a¬†requisite for popularity¬†in some sections of the¬† visible Church.¬†

Promoting¬†self¬†under the guise of promoting¬†Christ–is currently so common as to excite little notice!¬†

“They do not have pure motives as they preach about Christ. They preach with selfish ambition, not sincerely” Philippians 1:17¬†

Better to rot in prison!

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Better to rot in prison!

(J.R. Miller, “Practical Lessons from the Story of¬†Joseph“)

“How can I do this great wickedness–and sin against God!” Genesis 39:9

“After hearing his wife’s story, Potiphar was furious! He took Joseph and threw him into the prison!” Genesis 39:19-20

Sometimes it costs very dearly to be true to God. Joseph lay now in a dungeon. But his¬†loss¬†through doing right, was nothing in comparison with what he would have lost–had he done the wickedness to which he was tempted. His prison gloom, deep as it was–was as noonday, compared with what would have been the¬†darkness of his soul¬†under the blight of evil, and the bitterness of remorse. The¬†chains¬†that hung upon him in his dungeon, were but like¬†feathers–in comparison with the¬†heavy chains¬†which would have bound his¬†soul, had he yielded to the temptation. Though in a prison, his feet hurt by the fetters–he was a free man because his¬†conscience¬†was free and his¬†heart¬†was pure!¬†

No fear of consequences should ever drive us to do a wrong thing. 

It is better to suffer any loss, any cost, any sacrifice–than be eaten up by remorse!¬†

Better be hurled down from a high place for doing right–than win worldly honor by doing wrong.¬†

Better lose our right hand–than lose our purity of soul.¬†

Better to rot in prison–than to sin against God!

It was the prayer of a young queen, which she wrote with a diamond point on her castle window,¬†“Keep me¬†pure–make others¬†great.”¬†That is the lesson of Joseph’s victory over temptation: dishonor, loss, dungeon, death–anything before sin!

Five sharp stings!

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Five sharp stings!

(Thomas Watson, “A Divine Cordial” 1663)

Many love sin, more than God. “They are haters of God, insolent, proud, and boastful, inventors of evil.” Romans 1:30¬†

What is there in sin–that any should love it?¬†

Sin is a¬†debt. “Forgive us our¬†debts.” Matthew 6:12¬†
Sin is a debt which binds over to the wrath of God! 
And will you love sin? Does any man love to be in debt? 

Sin is a¬†disease. “Your whole head is injured, your whole heart is sick. From the sole of your foot to the top of your head there is no soundness–only wounds and welts and open sores, not cleansed or bandaged or soothed with oil.” Isaiah 1:5-6. And will you love sin? Will any man hug a disease? Will he love his plague sores?¬†

Sin is a¬†pollution. The apostle calls it “filthiness.” James 1:21. It is compared to leprosy and to poison of asps!¬†

Sin is¬†a hideous monster. Lust makes a man brutish–and malice makes him devilish! What is in sin to be loved? Shall we love deformity?¬†

God’s heart rises against sinners.¬†“My soul¬†loathed¬†them!” Zechariah 11:8¬†

Sin is an¬†enemy. It is compared to a “serpent”. Sin has¬†five sharp stings:
  shame,
  guilt,
  horror, 
  death,
  damnation! 

Will a man love that which seeks his death? Surely then it is better to love God than sin. 

God will save you–but sin will damn you!¬†Is he not a fool–who loves damnation!

But¬†love to God¬†will never let sin thrive in the heart. The love of God withers sin. The¬†flower of love¬†kills the¬†weed of sin!¬†How should we labor for that grace of¬†love to God–which is¬†the only corrosive to destroy sin!

Trust His heart–even when you can’t trace His hand!

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Trust His¬†heart–even when you can’t trace His¬†hand!

(John MacDuff, “The Promised Land!” 1859)

“And He¬†led¬†them forth by the¬†right¬†way–that they might go to a city of habitation.” Psalm 107:7

God’s¬†thoughts¬†are not as our thoughts–neither are His¬†ways¬†as our ways! This truth is strikingly exemplified in the¬†manner¬†in which He led the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land.¬†We¬†would have chosen the way that was¬†nearest¬†and¬†most direct–but God decided otherwise. He led them round about through the wilderness, and that for the space of forty years! And not merely was it the most¬†distant¬†way–but it was the most¬†dangerous¬†way as well. It was a land of¬†deserts¬†and of¬†pits–a land of¬†drought¬†and¬†death–a land that no man passed through, and where no man dwelt.¬†

But, as strange as it appeared, we are fully justified in saying that it was wisely arranged. 
Their long detainments;
their tiresome and circuitous wanderings;
their fierce conflicts with the Moabites and the Amalekites;
the bitter waters which they had to drink; and
the fiery serpents with which they were stung–
all fulfilled the high purposes of Him who is excellent in counsel, as well as wonderful in working. However contrary¬†His¬†way might have been to¬†theirs–yet “He led them forth by the¬†right¬†way, that they might go to a city of habitation.”

His dealings with His people now¬†are still as unusual, and as much opposed to all¬†their¬†preconceived plans–as were His dealings with the Israelites! He has crossed their own schemes, and thwarted their most fondly-cherished purposes! He always effects His own ends–in His own way!

Christian, what is your duty?

It is to cherish high thoughts of God in all His inscrutable dealings towards you. 

It is to¬†trust His¬†heart–even when you can’t trace His¬†hand; believing that “all the¬†paths¬†of the Lord are mercy and truth, unto such as keep His covenant and His testimonies.”¬†

It is to follow His¬†guidance¬†continually; for as He led His people of old with “the cloud by day, the pillared fire by night”–so He has promised to direct all¬†your steps, and preserve all¬†your¬†goings.

It is to wait His time; for although the way may appear long¬†and tedious–yet remember,¬†“all is well, that ends well.”¬†And what¬†will the end be? “And the ransomed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy upon their heads! They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away!”

A book full of Christ!

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A book full of Christ!

(J.C. Ryle)

“Everything must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Luke 24:44¬†

We have probably little idea how much deep truth is contained in the book of Psalms. No part of the Bible perhaps is better known in the letter–and none so little understood in the spirit. We err greatly if we suppose that it is nothing but a record of David’s feelings, of David’s experience, David’s praises, and David’s prayers. The hand that held the pen was generally David’s. But the subject matter was often something far deeper and higher than the history of the son of Jesse.¬†

The book of Psalms, in a word, is a book full of Christ:
  Christ in humiliation,
  Christ suffering,
  Christ dying,
  Christ rising again,
  Christ coming the second time,
  Christ reigning over all. 

Both of Christ’s advents are here: His coming in suffering to bear the¬†cross–and His second coming in power to wear the¬†crown.¬†

Both of Christ’s kingdoms are here–His kingdom of¬†grace, during which the elect are gathered–and His kingdom of glory, when every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord.¬†

Let us always read the Psalms with a peculiar reverence. Let us say to ourselves as we read, “A greater than David is here!”

Like a concealed worm at the root of a flower

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Like a concealed worm at the root of a flower

(John Angell James)

It may be that your hindrances to a more rapid 
growth in grace, arise from some specific cause, 
some sin indulged, some corruption cherished. Is 
there not some sacrifice which you are unwilling 
to make, or something which you are unwilling to 
surrender? You must give up the forbidden thing, 
or your growth in grace is impossible! That one sin 
will, like a concealed worm at the root of a 
flower
–eat out the very life of your piety, and¬†
cause it to droop, wither, and decay.

“Spiritual Leadership is not won by

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Spiritual Leadership is not won by
promotion, but by prayers and tears.

It is attained by much heart-searching
and humbling before God; by
self-surrender, a courageous sacrifice
of every idol, a bold uncompromising,
and uncomplaining embracing of the
cross, and by an eternal, unfaltering
looking unto Jesus crucified.

This is a great price, but it must be
unflinchingly paid by him who would
be a real spiritual leader of men, a
leader whose power is recognized
and felt in heaven, on earth and in
hell.”¬†¬†¬† -Samuel Brengle

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

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‚Ä̬† 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,
‚ÄúA Hearer in Disguise‚ÄĚ 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‚Äôs 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.

‚ÄúYou, God, see me!‚ÄĚ
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.

‚ÄúYou, God, see me!‚ÄĚ

Two men look at the same scene:

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Two men look at the same scene:

(J.R. Miller)

“Be joyful always!” 1 Thessalonians 5:16¬†

“In all our affliction, I am overflowing with joy!” 2 Corinthians 7:4¬†

Thankfulness or unthankfulness is largely a matter of the attitude of our heart. 
Two men look at the same scene:
 
  one sees the defects and the imperfections; 
  the other sees the beauty and the brightness. 

If you cannot find things to be thankful for today, and¬†every¬†day ‚ÄĒ the fault is in yourself, and you ought to pray for a changed heart ‚ÄĒ a heart to see God’s goodness and to praise Him.¬†

A joyful heart transfigures all the world around us!¬†It finds something to be thankful for in the barest circumstances, even in the dark night of the soul. Let us train ourselves to see the beauty and the goodness in God’s world, and in our own circumstances ‚ÄĒ and then we shall stop grumbling, and be content and thankful in all situations.

“A¬†happy¬†heart makes the face cheerful!” Proverbs 15:13¬†

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

“A¬†cheerful¬†heart¬†is good medicine ‚ÄĒ but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” Proverbs 17:22¬†

This Sea of Love!

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This Sea of Love!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
¬† “THE SHULAMITES CHOICE PRAYER”

Christian, turn it over in your mind ‚ÄĒ “Christ loves you!”
-not a little; not a little as a man may love his friend;
not even as a mother may love her child; for she may forget
the infant of her womb.

Jesus loves you with the highest degree of love that is
possible; and what more can I say, except I add, he loves
you with a degree of love that is utterly impossible to man.

No finite mind could, if it should seek to measure it,
get any idea whatever of the love of Christ towards us.

You know, when we come to measure a drop with an ocean,
there is a comparison. A comparison I say there is,
though we should hardly be able to get at it; but when
you attempt to measure our love with Christ’s, the finite
with the infinite, there is no comparison at all.

Though we loved Christ ten thousand times as much as we do,
there would even then be no comparison between our love to him
and his love to us. Can you believe this now? ‚ÄĒ “Jesus, loves me!”

Why, to be loved by others here on earth often brings the tear
to one’s eye. It is sweet to have the affection of one’s fellow;
but to be LOVED BY GOD, and to be loved so intense ‚ÄĒ so loved
that you have to leave it as a mystery the soul cannot fathom ‚ÄĒ
you cannot tell how much!

Be silent, O my soul! and be silent too before your God,
¬† and lift up your soul in prayer thus ‚ÄĒ
“Jesus, take me into this Sea of Love, and let me be ravished
by a sweet and heavenly contentment in a sure confidence that
you have loved me and given yourself for me.”

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¬†‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ though everything else is taken away.¬†

“Give me,” says the believer, “the enjoyment of my God ‚ÄĒ and I desire no more. Allow me to feast on heavenly truth ‚ÄĒ and I shall never complain that I am poor. Let worldlings divide the globe among themselves ‚ÄĒ let emmets contend for this little heap of dust; I have God ‚ÄĒ and I ask no more. Come wars and pestilence, come poverty and death ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ 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¬†‚ÄĒ 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

That very church which the world likes best!

That very church which the world likes best!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“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 6:16-18

That very church which the world likes best, is sure to be the church which God abhors most!

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud . . . lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them!” 2 Timothy 3:2-5

“We have learned to live with unholiness in our churches, and have come to look upon it as the natural and expected thing. It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a church meeting, where the only attraction is God. One can only conclude that God’s professed children are bored with Him, for they must be wooed to church with a stick of striped candy, in the form of religious movies, games and entertainments.‚ÄĚ

A. W. Tozer

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

And scarcely anyone appears to care!

(A.W. Tozer)

The only power God recognizes in His Church, is the power of His Spirit. Whereas the only power actually recognized today by the majority of evangelicals, is the power of man. God does His work by the operation of the Spirit–while Christian leaders attempt to do theirs by the power of trained intellect. Bright personality, has taken the place of the divine influence. But only what is done through the Eternal Spirit, will abide eternally.

For centuries the Church stood solidly against every form of worldly entertainment, recognizing it for what it was:

a device for wasting time,
a refuge from the disturbing voice of conscience,
a scheme to divert attention from moral accountability.

But of late she appears to have decided that if she cannot conquer the great god entertainment–she may as well join forces with him and make what use she can of his power.

Christianity is so entangled with the world, that millions never guess how radically they have missed the New Testament pattern. Compromise is everywhere!

Evangelical Christianity is now tragically below the New Testament standard.

Worldliness is an accepted part of our way of life.
Our religious mood is social, instead of spiritual.
We have lost the art of worship.
We are not producing saints.
Our models are successful business men, celebrated athletes and theatrical personalities.
We carry on our religious activities after the methods of the modern advertiser.
Our homes have been turned into theaters.
Our literature is shallow, and our hymnody borders on sacrilege.

And scarcely anyone appears to care!

Do we understand what love is?

(J.R. Miller, “Help for the Day”)

Do we understand what love is? We like to be loved, that is, to have other people love us, and live for us, and do things for us. We like the gratifications of love. But that is only miserable selfishness, if it goes no further. It is a desecration of the sacred name, to think that love, at its heart, means getting, receiving. Nay, love gives.

That is what God’s love does ‚ÄĒ it finds its blessedness in giving. “God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son.” That is what Christ’s love does ‚ÄĒ it pours out its very lifeblood, to the last drop!

The essential meaning of loving must always be giving, not receiving.

“Christ loved the church, and gave Himself up for her” Ephesians 5:25

From such love ‚ÄĒ may I ever be delivered!

From such love ‚ÄĒ may I ever be delivered!

(J.C. Ryle, “Christian Love” 1878)

Christian love does not consist in approving everybody’s religious opinions. Here is another most serious and growing delusion. There are many who pride themselves on never pronouncing others mistaken ‚ÄĒ whatever views they may hold. Your neighbor may be an Atheist, or a Buddhist, or a Roman Catholic, or a Mormonite, a Deist, or a Skeptic, a mere Formalist, or a thorough Antinomian. But the “love” of many says that you have no right to think him wrong! “If he is sincere ‚ÄĒ then it is uncharitable to think unfavorably of his spiritual condition!”

From such love ‚ÄĒ may I ever be delivered!

At this rate, the Apostles were wrong in going out to preach to the Gentiles!

At this rate, there is no use in missions!

At this rate, we had better close our Bibles, and shut up our churches!

At this rate, everybody is right ‚ÄĒ and nobody is wrong!

At this rate, everybody is going to Heaven ‚ÄĒ and nobody is going to Hell!

Such love is a monstrous caricature! To say that all are equally right in their opinions ‚ÄĒ though their opinions flatly contradict one another; to say that all are equally in the way to Heaven ‚ÄĒ though their doctrinal sentiments are as opposite as black and white ‚ÄĒ this is not Scriptural love. Love like this pours contempt on the Bible, and talks as if God had not given us a written standard of truth. Love like this, confuses all our notions of Heaven, and would fill it with a discordant inharmonious rabble.

True love does not think everybody right in doctrine. True love cries, “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world!” 1 John 4:1. “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching ‚ÄĒ do not take him into your house or welcome him!” 2 John 1:10

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.

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

Church Member

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

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

She left her heart behind her!

“Remember Lot’s wife!” Luke 17:32

We should observe in these verses–what a solemn warning our Lord gives us against unsound profession.

Lot’s wife went far in religious profession. She was the wife of a “righteous man.” She was connected through him with Abraham, the father of the faithful. She fled with her husband from Sodom, in the day when he escaped for his life by God’s command.

But Lot’s wife was not really like her husband. Though she fled with him–she left her heart behind her! She willfully disobeyed the strict injunction which the angel had laid upon her. She looked back towards Sodom–and was at once struck dead! She was turned into a pillar of salt, and perished in her sins! Remember her–says our Lord, “Remember Lot’s wife!”

Lot’s wife is meant to be a beacon and a warning to all professing Christians. It may be feared that many will be found like her, in the day of Christ’s second coming. There are many in the present day, who go a certain length in religion. They speak the “language of Canaan.” They use all the outward ordinances of religion. But all this time, their souls are not right in the sight of God. The world is in their hearts–and their hearts are in the world. And by and bye, in the day of sifting–their unsoundness will be exposed. Their Christianity will prove rotten at the core! The case of Lot’s wife will not stand alone.

Let us remember Lot’s wife, and resolve to be real in our religion. Let us never rest until we have the true grace of God in our hearts–and have no desire to look back to the world.

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

Pleasing God

‚ÄúThe worship to which we are called in our renewed state is far too important to be left to personal preferences, whims, or marketing strategies. Pleasing God is at the heart of worship. Therefore, our worship must be informed at every point by the Word of God as we seek God‚Äôs own instructions for worship that is pleasing to Him.‚ÄĚ

R.C. Sproul, How Then Shall We Worship?: Biblical Principles to Guide Us Today

It is not our business to re-write Bible verses!

It is not our business to re-write Bible verses!

(J.R. Miller)

“I will praise the LORD at all times; His praise will always be on my lips.” Psalm 34:1

It is not hard to praise the Lord at some times.
There are days when all is bright.
There is no sickness in our house.
No recent sorrow has left our heart sad.
It is easy then, to praise the Lord.

But there are other times when things are different. Business is not prosperous ‚ÄĒ or health is broken.
We begin to say this verse ‚ÄĒ but we cannot get through it: “I will praise the Lord at . . . “

We cannot bless the Lord for the broken health ‚ÄĒ or for the empty chair. Yet there the words stand. We cannot make them read: “I will praise the Lord at some times; His praise will be on my lips on certain days ‚ÄĒ days when the sun shines.”

It is not our business to re-write Bible verses ‚ÄĒ but it is our business rather to bring our lives up to the standard of the inspired words. So we must learn to say the verse just as it is written.

We must learn to bless the Lord on the dark days ‚ÄĒ as well as the bright days.
We must learn to praise God in pain ‚ÄĒ as well as in pleasure.

Have we learned this lesson?

Attributes Of God

‚ÄúWe 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.‚ÄĚ

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 ‚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!

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 ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ so be it!’

This response is the only one that suits a creature’s lip.
When God speaks ‚ÄĒ there is nothing left for man but to hear.
When God decrees ‚ÄĒ there is nothing for man to do but acquiesce.
When Jehovah gives a command ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ and bring up his thoughts to the paltry bar of my fallen reason ‚ÄĒ 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’ ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ that is God.

If such a One speaks ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ whether it be a silver note of mercy from Heaven, or a thunder-clap of denunciation!

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 ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ the socials, the fund-raisers, the bazaars, the concerts, the moving picture shows and other forms of entertainment ‚ÄĒ 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

The transforming power of the Spirit!

The transforming power of the Spirit!

(J. C. Ryle, “The Lord’s Garden”)

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

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

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

He gives them . . .

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

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

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 ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ 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 ‚ÄĒ 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

‚ÄúIt 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‚Äôt correct Him. We do not stand over God but under Him.‚ÄĚ

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!

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‚ÄĒthe life will not be happy. If calm does not reign over that inner lake within the soul which feeds the rivers of our life‚ÄĒthe rivers themselves will always be in storm. Our outward acts will always manifest that they were born in tempests‚ÄĒby 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‚ÄĒis to keep the heart at rest‚ÄĒfor come poverty, come wealth, come honor, come shame, come plenty, or come scarcity‚ÄĒif the heart is quiet, there will be peace and happiness manifested in the life!

But no matter how bright the sun shines outside‚ÄĒif the heart is troubled‚ÄĒthe whole life must be troubled too!

“You will keep in perfect peace‚ÄĒall whose thoughts are fixed on You‚ÄĒbecause he trusts in You!” Isaiah 26:3

I Bequeath My Pastor’s Soul To The Devil!

I bequeath my pastor’s soul to the devil!

(Thomas Brooks, “A Word in Season to Suffering Saints”)

“Covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5

Covetousness is explicit idolatry.

Covetousness is the darling sin of our nation.

Covetousness being idolatry–is highly provoking to God.

This leprosy has infected all sorts and ranks of men.

Whatever a man loves most and best–that is his god. The covetous man looks upon the riches of the world as his Heaven–his happiness–his great ALL.

His heart is most upon the world,
his thoughts are most upon the world,
his affections are most upon the world,
his discourse is most about the world.

He who has his mind taken up with the world, and chiefly delighted with the world’s music–he has also his tongue tuned to the same key, and takes his joy and comfort in speaking of the world and worldly things. If the world is in the heart–it will break out at the lips. A worldly-minded man speaks mostly of worldly things. “They are of the world, therefore they speak of the world,” John 4:5. The love of this world oils the tongue for worldly discourses, and makes men . . .

forget God,
neglect Christ,
despise holiness,
forfeit Heaven.

Ah! the time, the thoughts, the strength, the efforts–which are spent upon the world, and the things of the world–while sinners’ souls lie a-bleeding, and eternity is hastening upon them!

I have read of a greedy banker, who was always best when he was most in talking of money and the world. Being near his death, he was much pressed to make his WILL. Finally he dictates:

First, I bequeath my own soul to the devil–for being so greedy for the muck of this world!

Secondly, I bequeath my wife’s soul to the devil–for persuading me to this worldly course of life.

Thirdly, I bequeath my pastor’s soul to the devil–because he did not show me the danger I lived in, nor reprove me for it!

“People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction!” 1 Timothy 6:9

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!

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