Tag Archives: Daily Christian Quotes

May we see our sins

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May we see our sins

(
Henry Law, “Family Prayers”)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil

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Believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil

(Charles Spurgeon)

“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!” Romans 8:28¬†

The Christian does not merely hold this truth as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet. 

The poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions, have worked the cure. 

The sharp cuts of the lancet, have cleansed out the infected flesh and facilitated the healing. 

In every event of your life, God has always worked out the most divinely blessed results.

Believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil–the believer’s heart is comforted, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine! Send me what You will, my Father, so long as it comes from You!”

The crying evil of both the Church and of the world!

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The crying evil of both the Church and of the world! 

(Thomas Reade, “The Desire of More”)¬†

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and¬†covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5¬†

“You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or¬†covetous¬†person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a¬†covetous¬†person is really an¬†idolater¬†who worships the things of this world.” Ephesians 5:5¬†

The love of money
 under every form, insinuates itself into every heart. 

A day is fast approaching when it will be clearly seen whether Christ or Mammon has swayed our affections. 

Covetousness
, in the language of Scripture, is the desire of having more. If we are habitually desirous of riches, for their own sake, we are, in the estimation of God, covetous people, idolaters, the servants of mammon. Our station may be exalted; our profession of religion may be outwardly strict, but still our destruction is sure. 

There are, perhaps, few sins which assume so plausible an appearance; and for which so many excuses are made as for that ofcovetousness. And hence it is that we have need to guard so much the citadel of the heart. 

Covetousness
, eating¬†like a canker, upon the vitals of our religion–is¬†the crying evil of both the Church and of the world!¬†

What advantage did Lot’s wife, Achan, Gehazi, Judas, and Ananias and Sapphira, gain by their desire for more? They reaped shame and death; and now stand as¬†beacons¬†in the Word of God to warn us against their soul-destroying sin!¬†

For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul?”¬†Luke 9:25¬†

As foolish as to hope to bind an angel with a string, or to lure a star with music!

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As foolish as to hope to bind an angel with a string, or to lure a star with music! 

(Charles Spurgeon)

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes!” Romans 1:16¬†

To try to win a soul to Christ by keeping that soul in ignorance of any truth, is contrary to the mind of the Spirit. To endeavor to save men by mere claptrap, or entertainments, or excitements, or oratorical displays–is¬†as foolish as to hope to bind an angel with a string, or to lure a star with music!¬†

The best attraction is the gospel in its purity. The weapon with which the Lord conquers men, is the truth as it is in Jesus. The gospel will be found equal to every emergency. The gospel is an¬†arrow¬†which can pierce the hardest heart–a¬†balm¬†which will heal the deadliest wound. Preach it, and preach nothing else. Rely implicitly upon the old, old gospel.¬†

You need no other nets when you fish for men; those your Master has given you are strong enough for the large fish, and have meshes fine enough to hold the little ones. 

Spread those nets and no others, and you need not fear the fulfillment of His Word, “I will make you fishers of men.”

The diamonds of Heaven!

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The diamonds of Heaven!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“You keep track of all my¬†sorrows.
 You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
¬†You have recorded each one in Your book.”¬†Psalm 56:8

“Behold, he is praying!” Acts 9:11¬†

Prayers are instantly noticed in heaven. The moment Saul began to pray, the Lord heard him. Here is comfort for the distressed but praying soul. Oftentimes a poor broken-hearted one bends his knee, but can only utter his wailing in the language of sighs and tears; yet that groan has made all the harps of heaven thrill with music; that tear has been caught by God and treasured in the¬†lachrymatory of Heaven.¬†You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.”¬†This¬†implies that they are caught as they flow!¬†

The suppliant, who groans out his words, will be well understood by the Most High God. He may only look up with misty eye; but¬†prayer is the falling of a tear!¬†Tears are¬†the diamonds of Heaven!¬†Sighs¬†are a part of the music of Jehovah’s court, and are numbered with the most sublime strains which reach the majesty on high!

Do not think that your prayers, however weak or trembling, will be unregarded. Our God not only¬†hears¬†prayers, but also¬†loves¬†to hear them. “He does not forget the cry of the humble.”¬†

True, He does not regard proud looks and lofty words. 
He no concern for the pomp and pageantry of kings. 
He does not listen not to the swell of martial music. 
He does not regard the triumph and pride of man. 

But wherever there is a contrite heart full with sorrow, or a lip quivering with agony, or a deep groan, or a penitential sighŤĎČhe heart of Jehovah is open! He marks that prayer down in¬†the registry of His memory!¬†He puts our prayers, like rose leavesŚā≠etween the pages of His book of remembrance, and when the volume is opened at last there shall be a precious fragrance springing up therefrom!

When a tear is wept by you–do not think that God does not behold it

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When a tear is wept by you–do not think that God does not behold it

(Charles Spurgeon)

“The LORD said:
  I have indeed seen the misery of My people in Egypt.
  I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers,
  and I am concerned about their suffering.
¬† So I have come down to¬†rescue¬†them . . .” Exodus 3:7, 8

Perhaps no figure of speech represents God in a more gracious light, than when He is spoken of as stooping from His throne and coming down from Heaven to attend to the wants and woes of His redeemed people. 

How can we but love Him, when we know that He . . .
  numbers the very hairs of our heads,
  marks all our paths, and
  orders all our ways?

When a tear is wept by you–do not think that God does not behold it
, for . . .
“You keep¬†track¬†of all my sorrows.
 You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.
¬†You have¬†recorded¬†each one in Your book.” Psalm 56:8¬†

Your sigh is able to move the heart of Jehovah, 
your whisper can incline His ear unto you, 
your prayer can stay His hand, 
your faith can move His arm!

Do not think that God sits on high taking no account of you. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him.

There is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life!

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There is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life!

(Charles Spurgeon) 

“Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age!” Matthew 28:20¬†

It is well that there is One who is ever the same, and who is ever with us. It is well that¬†there is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life. O my soul, do not set your affections upon rusting, moth-eaten, decaying treasures–but set your heart upon Him who abides forever faithful to you. Do not build your house upon the moving quicksands of a deceitful world–but found your hopes upon this rock, which, amid descending rain and roaring floods, shall stand immovably secure!

My soul, I charge you–lay up your¬†treasure¬†in the only secure cabinet; store your¬†jewels¬†where you can never lose them. Put your¬†all¬†in Christ; set . . .
  all your affections on His person,
  all your hope in His merit,
  all your trust in His efficacious blood,
  all your joy in His presence,
and so you may laugh at loss and defy difficulties. 

Remember that¬†all the flowers in the world’s garden wither and die–and the day is coming when nothing will be left but the black, cold earth.¬†Death’s black extinguisher¬†must soon put out your candle. Oh! how sweet to have¬†sunlight–when the¬†candle¬†is gone! The¬†dark flood¬†must soon roll between you and all you have!¬†

So wed your heart to Him who will never leave you. Trust yourself with Him who will go with you through the black and surging current of death’s stream, and who will land you safely on the celestial shore, and make you sit with Him in heavenly places forever!¬†

Go, sorrowing son of affliction–tell your secret troubles to the Friend who sticks closer than a brother. Trust all your concerns with Him . . .
  who never can be taken from you,
  who will never leave you, and
¬† who will never let you leave Him, even “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”¬†

“I am with you always,”¬†is enough for my soul to live upon–though all others forsake me!

Praise The Lord!

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Psalm 150:6 (ESV) 

6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Tiger

Job 12:7-10 (ESV) 

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

¬†Description…

This is another photo taken on our day trip to Chessington world of adventures a few years ago. The crazy thing is‚ĶI had no idea that this Tiger(or any of the creatures in my recent posts) were looking at me until i returned home and zoomed in on the photos whilst viewing them on my iMac, lol! ūüėĬ†

I hope this¬†beautiful Tiger puts another smile on your face,?¬†ūüėĬ†

 

ūüé∂ Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all. ūüé∂

All the ‘littles’ of our little world!

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All the ‘littles’ of our little world!

(Charles Spurgeon) 

Divine omniscience affords no comfort to the ungodly mind, “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¬†

But to the child of God it overflows with consolation, “How precious also are Your thoughts unto me, O God.” Psalm 139:17

God is always thinking upon us; He never turns aside His mind from us, and has us always before His eyes! This is precisely as we would have it–for it would be dreadful to exist for a moment, beyond the observation of our heavenly Father! His thoughts are always filial, tender, loving, wise–and they bring to us countless benefits. Hence it is a choice delight for us to remember them.

The Lord¬†has¬†always thought upon His people–hence their election and the covenant of grace by which their salvation is secured.¬†

He always¬†will¬†think upon them–hence their continual preservation by which they shall be brought safely to their heavenly rest.¬†

In all our wanderings, the watchful glance of the Eternal Watcher is evermore fixed upon us!¬†We never roam beyond the Shepherd’s eye!¬†In our¬†sorrows¬†He observes us incessantly, and not a pang escapes Him! In our¬†toils¬†He marks all our weariness, and writes in His book all the struggles of His faithful ones. These thoughts of the Lord encompass us in all our paths, and penetrate the innermost region of our being. Not a nerve or tissue, valve or vessel, of our bodily organization is uncared for.¬†All the ‘littles’ of our little world, are thought upon by the great God!

Dear reader, is not this precious to you? The Lord lives and thinks upon you! 

If the Lord thinks upon you, then all is well, and you may rejoice evermore!

“I‚Äôve never seen so clearly since going blind” 20 Years Of Sight-loss!

Me playing my Taylor K22ce at church and in front of a cross on the wall

Hi friends. As it is 20 years to the day since i went blind…I thought i’d share one of my older posts(yet updated) from 4 years ago when i was asked to share a little of what i went through when i lost my sight at 24.

I really hope that you’ll have the time to read it, and that it blesses you in some small way?! 

Here Goes…

I was asked by our Minister Nik if i would share my Testimony in the parade service. The theme was ‚ÄėFaith through Adversity‚Äô, Nik said “i can ask you some straight forward questions, it will only take about 5 minutes(or so we thought)‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúYeah, ok, if you think it will help?‚ÄĚ.

Sunday 8th May 2016…

Walking into the church building Sunday morning, it was quite full, as it was parade service, the scouts and other uniformed groups were there, but Nik found us seats at the front, then showed me up the steps and where i’d stand to speak, after testing the microphone i remembered the steps and sat back down. 

As i‚Äôm blind, i can‚Äôt use any notes, so i spent a little time trying to etch some answer headings into my mind, hoping i‚Äôd not veer too far off track. I then prayed that i‚Äôd use this time to Glorify Him, as i talked about the Truth that sets us free, and how i‚Äôm not ashamed of the Gospel, it‚Äôs the power of God unto Salvation to all who believe…please make it real(be careful praying this, lol).

It;s time…

Steve, we are looking at people who have showed faith in difficult circumstances and I have asked you to share some of your story with us.

Many people here, even those who have seen you around at various church events may not know that you are blind.

My Testimony…

Nik stood next to me at the microphone and started with the first 2 questions:

Have you always been blind? How and when did you loose your sight?

I explained i’d been fully sighted until i was 24, and after 2 brain haemorrhages(March РJuly 2000) that burst my optic nerve, i’m now registered blind and have Severe Hypertensive Retinopathy.

“How did that change your life?”

I said ‚ÄúI can only scratch the surface this morning, but if ever you see me walking around here or in town, please ask me anything. But now i’ll try and sketch you a quick picture and give you a flavour of what happened‚Ķ”

‚ÄúI went to the gym 6-7 days a week, played football most evenings and was quite violent, acting the tough guy. ¬†I wasn‚Äôt a Christian, i hadn‚Äôt been born again, or even been inside a church building‚Ķso‚ĶAs i stepped out of the eye consultants office after being told i‚Äôd be blind for the rest of my life, it was out of character but i collapsed on the floor sobbingg my eyes out. And as my crying out got a little too loud they pulled me into a small empty room‚Ķ.And this was the easy bit‚ÄĚ.

‚ÄúFollowing this was pure isolation… all my football mates left me, i lost my job, my car and ability to do anything…i lost everything, i was completely broken, and on top of that i was left to my acusing thoughts ‚ÄúNobody wants you, you‚Äôre useless now, unwanted, rejected, unloved and unlovable!!‚ÄĚ

Suddenly, as i was telling my story…

My mouth was silenced, an image of Jesus in Glory(Revelation 1) filled my mind, it was so clear(not blurred by my blindness) I could see His flaming eyes of judgment…then…the image changed, it was Jesus on the cross, now His eyes were filled with Mercy, Compassion & Grace, and while looking down straight at me he said “I did this for you, so that you can live. I…LOVE…YOU!!!

I started sobbing uncontrollably, and it took a couple of minutes for me to try and start talking again….but more sobbing…i was completely undone. But these tears were different!

I already knew He’d given His life so i could live. He’d come down so far¬†to save me it is immeasurable. His blood washed me clean, white as snow. He’s forgiven me all my sins, past, present and future, and there is no more condemnation for me, it is finished!

I‚Äôd been ¬†praying for so long for God to ‚ÄúBreak my heart for what broke His‚ÄĚ and sang the songs many times, but rarely had i caught a glimpse of the true cost of His Love, and His free gift of Grace to those who Repent and Believe in Him. I knew He wanted me to share the True Gospel to people listening(and now reading), as it alone is the only Hope. It is the Power of God unto Salvation for anyone that believes.

Still sobbing, i continued…

My every word was a different pitch but i said “My pit was so dark, my accusing thoughts were too heavy, and this led to a daily cycle of waking up and trying to kill myself…failing, which made me feel worse…then drinking so much i could drown them out for the rest of the day, until i woke the next day, then it started again. 

I didn‚Äôt have the strength to kill myself, and i didn‚Äôt have the strength to live…i was without God, and without Hope!

Nik, who‚Äôs hand was rested on my shoulder asked question 4 “I know you were deeply unhappy at the time, what changed that?”

The world followed it’s pattern and sent me to Counselling, then Psychotherapy & finally Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, they didn’t work, they all had no answer for me, they couldn’t reach far enough down to pull me out. I needed a Saviour, I needed the light of the Gospel! 

The Good News & Lovely Sarah

Meeting Sarah changed my life! I have no idea how she’s put up with me. She’s  been so patient and long suffering as i tried attacking her Faith and this Jesus! But she kept on loving me. Sarah always seemed to have a rock to stand on no matter how bad things got for her, and i was being dragged deeper into the sinking sand. She always had this Blessed Hope that i didn’t,

Jesus worked through Sarah to shine the light of the Gospel, the Good News i was dying for. 

Words failed me as i was trying to describe how much i love Sarah, so when my mind filled with thoughts of how far we’ve grown together in love…i broke down again. 

The sobbing was still making me pause every few words, but mentioned Jesus doesn’t want to see anyone perish, but he pursues you, He has come to seek and save that which is lost. He loves you and no matter how bad or hopeless you think you are, He’ll keep coming with His free gift of Salvation!

Nik asked Question 5 “some people would say that your life must be worse now, would you agree with them?”

I’d gone way over my time slot, and i was almost pulled away from the mic as i was so overwhelmed…BUT i knew these tears were not about me, or my losses. I had 1 focus and that was to share the Truth that sets us free. I had no feeling of sorrow or pain. I knew it must have seemed like this to the congregation, and i thought they’d stick me in a counselling room when i’d finished!

The Holy Spirit was filling me like never before, and made the Power of the Gospel so real to me i almost exploded.

I continued ‚ÄúI wouldn‚Äôt agree with anyone who thinks(or measures) life by how good our circumstances are. I‚Äôd lead them to 2 Corinthians 4 & 5 where it talks about living by Faith, not by Sight, and now that we are born again in the Spirit, we should walk by the Spirit. Not living for things that are seen which are temporary(like my sight loss), but living for the unseen which is Eternal‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúI used to hate this song, but now i‚Äôd play it every service if i could‚Ķhave you heard Amazing Grace, the Chris Tomlin version? If you pass me in the street you‚Äôll normally hear me singing or humming these words:”

“Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.¬†I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see. My chains are gone I’ve been set free. My God, my Saviour has ransomed me. And like a flood His mercy reigns. Unending love, amazing grace‚ÄĚ.

‚ÄúI‚Äôve never seen so clearly since going blind‚ÄĚ This is one of my fave sayings.¬†ūüėĬ†

Nik then walked me back to my seat next to Sarah. The church was completely silent, it had been silent since i first started sobbing. I could feel Sarah was upset as she didn‚Äôt react for a while, then she said ‚ÄúPeople kept on running up and passing me tissues‚ÄĚ. Nik sat down next to Sarah, and Sarah said ‚ÄúYou‚Äôre not borrowing him again to speak‚ÄĚ.¬†

After the service people came over and said they really connected with the things i said, although i think everyone thinks i’m back in dark depression again, lol.

He showed me the reality and Power of transformation in His Gospel, and how vital it is to share it, as Jesus is the  Way, the Truth and the Life and no-one gets to  the Father but by Him. He’s the forgiver of Sins, breaker of chains, and the only Salvation for Eternal Life in Heaven.

John 3:14-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[a] have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 ‚ÄúHe who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.‚ÄĚ

I felt i needed to share this post to try and explain a little more of what was happening to me, and maybe reach out to someone who is struggling with the creeping death called Depression,or who is just simply lost and without God, and without Hope.

Related Post: My Full Testimony 

You Guide Me

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Psalm 73:23-26 (ESV)

23 Nevertheless, I am continually with you;
you hold my right hand.

24 You guide me with your counsel,
and afterward you will receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but you?
And there is nothing on earth that I desire besides you.

26 My flesh and my heart may fail,
but God is the strength[a] of my heart and my portion forever.

The one indispensable book!

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The one indispensable book!

(Daniel March, 1870)

The Bible is the¬†oldest–and the¬†newest¬†of books.

The Bible surveys the whole field of¬†time–and it looks farthest into the infinite depths of¬†eternity.¬†

The Bible lends the most vivid and absorbing interest to the scenes and events of the¬†past–and it keeps us in the most active sympathy with the time in which we live.¬†

The Bible gives us the most reliable record of what¬†has¬†been–and it affords us our only means of knowing what is¬†yet¬†to be.¬†

The Bible is¬†holy¬†enough to denounce the very shadow and semblance of sin–and it is¬†merciful¬†enough to save the chief of sinners.¬†

The Bible is full of¬†God–and must therefore be read with a pure heart, or its true glory will not be seen.¬†
The Bible is full of¬†man–and must therefore always be interesting and instructive to all who would know themselves.

The Bible is the¬†plainest¬†of books–and yet it has¬†depths of wisdom¬†which no created mind can fathom.¬†

The Bible is set up as a beacon to show all wanderers the safe way–and yet its light shines forth from thick clouds of mystery, and from abysses of infinite darkness.¬†

The Bible describes all conditions of life–and it gives utterance to all desires and emotions of the soul.¬†

The Bible has a song of triumph for the¬†overcomer–and a wail of defeat for the¬†overcome.¬†

The Bible . . .
  sparkles with the fervor and gladness of youth,
  celebrates the strength and glory of manhood,
  bewails the sorrows and infirmities of old age. 

The Bible . . .
  exults in the mighty deeds of kings and conquerors, 
  sympathizes with the poor and lowly, 
  lifts up the fallen, 
  delivers the oppressed, and 
  breathes the blessing of peace upon the quiet homes of domestic life. 

The Bible describes with startling clearness . . .
  the seductions of temptation,
  the conflicts of doubt and
  the miseries of skepticism. 

The Bible . . .
  searches the secret chambers of the heart, 
  brings to light its purest love and its darkest hate, 
  reveals its highest joy and its deepest grief. 

The Bible compasses the utmost range of¬†thought¬†and¬†feeling¬†and¬†desire–and it sounds the utmost depth of¬†motive¬†and¬†characterand¬†passion.

Thus in the Bible, 
  God and man,
  earth and heaven,
¬† time and eternity–
speak with one voice and teach the same truth. 

The Bible sets forth the most spiritual and heavenly truths–in the lights and shadows of earthly scenes and human characters.¬†

Thus the Bible is the one indispensable book . . .
¬† for all ages–and all nations,
¬† for all classes of men–and all states of society,
¬† for all capacities of intellect–and all necessities of the soul!

Get Calm In A Psalm!

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Psalm 46: 1-7 (ESV)

God is our refuge and strength,
a very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way,
though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam,
though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah
4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy habitation of the Most High.
5 God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved;
God will help her when morning dawns.
6 The nations rage, the kingdoms totter;
he utters his voice, the earth melts.
7 The Lord of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Friends‚ĶStay safe and well, and please keep commenting anything that will inspire, edify and encourage us all in this fantastic community! ūüėÄūüé∂‚ô•ÔłŹūüé§ūüôŹūüŹĽ

‚ėĘÔłŹ How Are You All?

Sarah with arems around Steve

Hi friends!

We just wanted to send you a quick message to ask how you’re all doing during this challenging time?

Don’t forget we have a reason to sing with gratitude to the Lord every time we wake up to a new day filled with grace and mercy. Many times we forget to express our gratefulness in these busy, crazy and painful times. However, we can sing songs of thankfulness for God’s goodness and make a joyful noise as the true Spiritual church.

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16 (ESV)

I do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that you may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. (Colossians 1:9-14)

Stay safe and keep singing to the Lord! ūüé∂ūüėÄ‚ô•ÔłŹ

Yours in Christ

Steve & Sarah 

The Complaint!

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The Complaint!

(James Smith, 1864)

“O my God, my soul is cast down within me!”¬†Psalm 42:6¬†

And why are you cast down? 

“My heart is burdened with a sense of my short-comings.¬†
 Every holy duty I perform is so imperfect. 
 Every good purpose I form is so soon frustrated. 
 Every hope of seeing better days is so soon beclouded.
 My heart is so fearfully depraved.
 My life is so unlike the life of Jesus.
 My affections are so unholy.
 My prayers are so brief and heartless.
 My praises are so feeble and fitful.
 I do so little good.
 I live to so little purpose.
 My evidences are so dim. 
 My prospects are so overcast. 
 I am harassed sometimes with the fear of death. 
 I cannot grasp the glories of Heaven. 
¬†I am dissatisfied with the¬†world–and yet glued to it!¬†
¬†I hate¬†sin–and yet fall into it!¬†
 I am a riddle, a mystery, a mass of inconsistency! 
¬†Is it, then, any wonder that I am cast down?”¬†

No, if you look at¬†yourself, and pore over the things you have named–then it is no wonder that you are cast down! They are enough to cast anyone down! But if you carry them to the¬†throne of grace, if you there¬†confess¬†them before God, if you look to the mercy of Jesus–then, in spite of them, you will not long be cast down.¬†

I know it is difficult to do this. There is a natural proneness to pore over such things. One feels at times a secret liking to indulge in self-pity. 

But we must look away from¬†self–for if we do not, we shall become anxious, doubting and downcast! We must¬†run the race–not looking at¬†our¬†imperfections, short-comings, and failures–but looking unto Jesus. He knows what we¬†are. He knew what we¬†wouldbe–before He called us by His grace; yes, before He shed His sin-atoning blood for us!¬†
He loved us, as sinners. 
He died for us, as sinners. 
He called us, as sinners. 
He saves us, as sinners. 
He will have great glory by saving¬†such great sinners.¬†We cannot do anything to¬†repay¬†Him for His wondrous love. Salvation is by¬†free grace–from first to last! Believe this, and it will raise up your drooping mind!

The life-boat of free grace¬†has put you on board the¬†vessel of salvation, and that will convey you safely to the¬†port of glory!¬†Do not look at¬†your¬†spiritual destitution, or feebleness, or incapacity, or imperfections–but trust in your¬†Pilot, rely on your¬†Captain, and expect His mercy and merit to land you safely in Heaven at last!¬†

Regardless of any amount of spiritual progress, your¬†dying prayer¬†will still be,¬†“God be merciful unto me–a sinner!”

Hope in God!
His mercy is great unto the Heavens, 
His grace is as free as the air, 
His love is as changeless as His nature,
His promise is as immutable as His love. 

He will save you for His own sake, and present you before assembled worlds as a monument of His mercy, and a trophy of His grace!

“Why are you cast down, O my soul?¬†Why so disturbed within me?
 
Put your hope in God,¬†for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and ¬†my God!”¬†Psalm 42:5

My Father’s home!

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My Father’s home!

(James Smith, “The Better Land”)

“Do not be troubled. There are many rooms in¬†my Father’s home, and I am going to prepare a place for you. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with Me where I am!” John 14:1-3¬†

How familiar with Heaven–how well acquainted with that “better land” must Jesus be! He calls it¬†“My Father’s home!”¬†Sweet view of our eternal residence!

Dying is but ‘going home!’ Going home to our Father! Going to our Father’s home!

And shall we fear this? Fear it! Can we do anything other than eagerly desire it? Do we not wish to go home and see our Father? We shall not be strangers there–so many of our Christian friends have gone home before us. And even if some of our loved ones are not there–we could not possibly feel unhappy where JESUS is!

“I am leaving the world,” said Jesus, “and am¬†going to My Father!”¬†Such should be our language in the prospect of death. O that, with child-like simplicity, we could receive into our minds the testimony of God’s Word! O that we could view death and Heaven–just as the Scriptures represent them! Where would our¬†doubts¬†and¬†fears¬†be then? What would become of our¬†reluctance¬†to leave the world then? Then, if we spoke of departed Christian loved ones–we would use similar language to that of Judah in reference to his younger brother Benjamin,¬†“He is this day with our Father!”¬†We would no longer talk of¬†losing¬†friends or relatives. Oh no! we should speak of them as being in our Father’s home, or of being with our Father!

My soul, I charge you in future to look to Heaven, simply as¬†your Father’s home!

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal!” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18¬†

They sing best in their cages!

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They sing best in their cages!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“In Him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in His holy name!”¬† Psalm 33:21

Christians can rejoice even in the deepest distress. Although trouble may surround them, they still sing. Like many birds–they sing best in their cages!¬†

The¬†waves¬†may roll over them, but their souls soon rise to the surface and see the light of God’s countenance.¬†

In times of trouble, the presence of the Son of God in the fiery furnace with him fills his heart with joy.

He is sick and suffering, but Jesus visits him and makes his bed for him. 

He is¬†dying, but Jesus puts His arms around him and cries, “Fear not, beloved, to die is to be blessed–the waters of death have their fountainhead in Heaven. They are not bitter–they are as sweet as nectar, for they flow from the throne of God.”¬†

As the departing saint wades through the stream and the billows gather around him, the same voice sounds in his ears, “Fear not, I am with you! Be not dismayed, I am your God.”

As he nears the borders of the infinite unknown, Jesus says, “Fear not, it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom!”

Thus strengthened and consoled, the believer is not afraid to die. No, he is even willing to depart, for since he has seen Jesus as the morning star, he longs to gaze upon Him as the sun in its strength. “I desire to depart and¬†be with Christ, which is better by far!” Philippians 1:23

Truly the presence of Jesus is all the Heaven we desire! 

You must be born again!

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You must be born again!

(Don Fortner)

“You must be born again!” John 3:7

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

  Redemption is the work of God FOR sinners. 

  Regeneration is the work of God IN sinners. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

What a compassionate, gracious arrangement!


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What a compassionate, gracious arrangement!

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

“My times are in Your hand!”¬†Psalm 31:15¬†

Why then, need I worry or tremble? That great, loving, powerful¬†hand¬†keeps all the events of my life sealed and secure within its almighty clasp! Only He, my Maker and my Master, can permit them to be revealed to me as His will for me.¬†What a compassionate, gracious arrangement!¬†How eminently fitted to fulfill that sweet promise of His Word, “You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You!” If we fully believed this, we would be absolutely devoid of the¬†worry¬†which corrodes and chafes the daily life of so many professing Christians.

“My times.” Not one or two¬†important¬†epochs of my history only–but¬†everything¬†that concerns me:
  joys that I had not expected,
  sorrows that must have crushed me, if they could have been anticipated, 
  sufferings which might have terrified me by their grimness, had I looked upon them,
  surprises which infinite love had prepared for me,
¬†¬†services¬†of which I could not have imagined myself capable–
all these lay in that mighty hand, as the purposes of God’s eternal will for me.¬†

But, as they have developed gradually and silently–how great has been the¬†love¬†which appeared enwrapping and enfolding each one!¬†
Has not the¬†grief¬†been measured–while the¬†gladness¬†has far more abounded?¬†
Have not the comforts and consolations–exceeded the crosses and afflictions?¬†
Have not all things been so arranged, and ordered, and undertaken, and worked out on our behalf–that we can but marvel at the goodness and wisdom of God, in meting out from that dear¬†hand¬†of His, all the “times” that have passed over us?

You agree with me in all this, do you not, dear reader? Then I beg you to apply it to your present circumstances, however dark or difficult they may be.¬†They have come directly from your Father’s hand to you, and they are His dear will for you!

What! The Whole Of It Meaningless?

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What! The whole of it meaningless?

(Charles Spurgeon) 

“Behold, all is vanity!” Ecclesiastes 1:14

Nothing can fully satisfy a person, but the Lord’s love and the Lord’s own self. Saints have tried other pursuits, but they have been driven out of such foolish and fatal refuges.

Solomon, the wisest of men, was permitted to make experiments for us all, and to do for us what we must not dare to do for ourselves. Here is his testimony in his own words: “So I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. I denied myself nothing my eyes desired; I refused my heart no pleasure. Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind! Nothing was gained under the sun!” “Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.”

What! the whole of it meaningless?¬†O favored monarch, is there nothing in all your wealth? Nothing in your wide dominion reaching even to the sea? Nothing in your glorious palaces? In all your music and dancing, and wine and luxury–is there nothing?¬†
“Nothing!”¬†he says,¬†“but a chasing after the wind!”¬†
This was his final verdict, when he had trodden the whole round of pleasure.

To embrace our Lord Jesus, to dwell in His love, and be fully assured of union with Him–this is¬†all in all.¬†

Dear reader, you need not try other forms of pleasure in order to see whether they are better than the Christian’s. If you roam the world around, you will see no sights like a sight of the Savior’s face! If you could have all the comforts of life, but lost your Savior–you would be most wretched. But if you possess Christ,¬†though you should rot in a dungeon–you would find it a paradise! Though you should live in obscurity, or die with famine–yet you would be satisfied with the favor and goodness of the Lord!¬†

“But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ.¬†What is more,¬†I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ!” Philippians 3:7-8¬†

The Savior’s abiding presence with His redeemed people!

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The Savior’s abiding presence with His redeemed people!

(J.R. Miller, “The Practical Value of a Promise“)

“O LORD, You have searched me and You know me.
 You know when I sit and when I rise;
 You perceive my thoughts from afar.
 You discern my going out and my lying down;
 You are familiar with all my ways!
¬†Before a word is on my tongue, You know it completely, O LORD!” Psalm 139:1-4

Doctrines are not such cold, lifeless things as some would have us to believe. There is no doctrine of Scripture which is not fitted toaffect the life¬†of him who believes it. Consider the proper influence upon us, of the doctrine and promise of¬†the Savior’s abiding presence with His redeemed people. If we believe and always recollect that Christ is truly with us always–how will it affect us?

For one thing it will make us very thoughtful and careful in all our words and acts. Christ is present in His¬†holiness¬†as well as in His love and tenderness. His pure eyes see all our life, and see into our hearts. He is ever beholding us–our real inner life.

The thought of the Master’s eye¬†upon us should . . .
  make us holy,
  rebuke our sins, and
  hold us back from evil. 

We cannot do wicked things in the presence of even a pure and holy human friend. But could we be continually conscious of Christ’s perpetual presence with us, of His eye ever resting upon us, then . . .
  Could we run into sin?
  Could we live carelessly?
  Could we trifle?
  Could we speak sharp, bitter, or unkind words?
  Could we do unholy, unlovely things? 

Surely the realizing of His perpetual abiding presence would make us live reverently, purely, lovingly–so as always to please and never to grieve Him.

Walking in the truth

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Walking in the truth

(Charles Spurgeon)

“For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in you, even as you walk in the truth.” 3 John 3¬†

The truth was in Gaius–and Gaius walked in a the truth.¬†
If the first had not been the case–the second could never have occurred.
If the second could not be said of him–the first would have been a mere pretense.¬†

Truth must enter into the soul, penetrate and saturate it–or else it is of no value. Doctrines held as a matter of¬†mere creed–are like bread in the hand, which ministers no nourishment to the body. But doctrine accepted by the heart, is as food digested, which, by assimilation, sustains and builds up the body.¬†

Truth must be a living force in us, an active energy, an indwelling reality, a part of the warp and woof of our being. 

It is a rule of nature–that the¬†inward¬†affects the¬†outward, as light shines from the center of the lantern through the glass. When, therefore, the truth is kindled within–its brightness soon beams forth in the outward life and conduct.¬†

It is said that the food of certain silkworms, colors the cocoons of silk which they spin. In the same way, the nutriment upon which a man’s inward nature lives–gives a tinge to every word and deed proceeding from him.¬†

To¬†walk in the truth, imports a life of integrity, holiness, faithfulness, and simplicity–the natural¬†product¬†of those principles of truth which the gospel teaches, and which the Spirit of God enables us to receive. We may judge of the¬†secrets of the soul–by their manifestation in the man’s life.¬†

Be it ours today, O gracious Spirit, to be ruled and governed by Your divine authority, so that nothing false or sinful may reign in our hearts, lest it extend its malignant influence to our daily walk among men. 

A cross of their own choosing

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A cross of their own choosing

(Thomas Watson, “The Art of Divine Contentment“)

“I have learned to be content¬†whatever the circumstances. I know both how to have a little, and I know how to have¬† a lot. In¬†any¬†and¬†all circumstances I have learned the secret of being content–whether well-fed or hungry, whether in abundance or in need.” Philippians 4:11-12

Paul knew how to manage in every state–he learned to be content whatever his circumstances.¬†
If he was in prosperity, he knew how to be thankful. 
If he was in adversity, he knew how to be patient. 
He was neither lifted up with¬†prosperity–nor cast down with¬†adversity.

A Christian should be content in¬†any¬†and¬†every¬†situation. Many are contented in¬†some¬†conditions–but not in¬†every¬†condition. They can be content in a wealthy state. When they have the streams of milk and honey–now they are content. But if the wind turns and is against them–now they are discontented. While they have a¬†silver crutch¬†to lean upon–they are contented; but if God breaks this crutch–now they are discontented.¬†

Many would be content with their affliction–if God would allow¬†them¬†to pick and choose. They could better endure sickness–than poverty; or bear loss of estate–than loss of children. If they might have¬†a cross of their own choosing, they would be content.¬†

But a contented Christian does not desire to choose his cross–but leaves God to choose for him. He is content both for the¬†kindof the afflictions, and the¬†duration¬†of the afflictions, which God gives him. A contented man says, “Let God apply¬†whatevermedicine¬†He pleases, and let it lie on as long as He desires. I know when it has done its cure, and eaten the¬†venom of sin¬†out of my heart–that God will take it away.”

A contented Christian, being sweetly captivated under the authority of the Word, desires to be wholly at God’s disposal, and cheerfully lives in whatever circumstances that God has placed him in. “I¬†delight¬†in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.” (2 Corinthians 12:10) He does not only¬†submit¬†to God’s dealings, but¬†rejoices¬†in them!

A whore’s forehead!

Grace logoA whore’s forehead!

(Thomas Brooks, “The Privy Key of Heaven” 1665)

“You have¬†a whore’s forehead, you refuse to be¬†ashamed!” Jeremiah 3:3

“Are they ashamed of their loathsome conduct? No,¬†they have no shame at all!
¬†They do not even know¬†how to blush!” Jeremiah 6:15¬†¬†

They had sinned away shame–instead of being ashamed of sin.¬†Continuance in sin¬†had quite banished all¬†sense¬†of sin and all¬†shame¬†for sin; so that they would not allow nature to draw her¬†veil of blushing¬†before their great abominations. How applicable these scriptures are to the present time, I will leave the prudent reader to judge.

But what does the prophet do, now that they were as bold in sin, and as shameless as so many harlots; now that they were grown up to that height of sin and wickedness; now that they were above all shame and blushing; now that they were grown so proud, so hardened, so obstinate, so rebellious, so bent on self-destruction–that no¬†mercies¬†could melt them or allure them, nor any¬†threatenings¬†or¬†judgments¬†could in any way terrify them or stop them? The prophet goes into a corner, he retires into the most secret places, and there he weeps bitterly; there he weeps as if he were resolved to drown himself in his own tears. “I will weep in secret because of your pride; my eyes will weep bitterly, overflowing with tears.” Jeremiah 13:17

In the times wherein¬†we¬†live, Hell seems to be broken loose, and men turned into incarnate devils! Soul-damning wickednesses walk up and down the streets with¬†a whore’s forehead, without the least check or restraint.¬†

Ah, England, England! What pride, luxury, lasciviousness, licentiousness, wantonness, drunkenness, cruelties, injustice, oppressions, fornications, adulteries, falsehoods, hypocrisies, atheisms, horrid blasphemies, and hellish impieties–are now to be found rampant in the midst of you! Ah, England! England! How are the Scriptures rejected, God derided, and wickedness tolerated!

And what is the voice of all these crying abominations–but¬†every Christian to his closet–every Christian to his closet–and there weep, with weeping Jeremiah, bitterly–for all these great abominations whereby God is dishonored openly. Oh weep in secret for their sins–who openly glory in their sins, which should be their greatest shame. Oh blush in secret for those who are past all blushing for their sins; for who knows, but that the whole land may fare the better for the sakes of a few, who are mourners in secret!

When I die I shall then have my greatest grief and my greatest joy

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When I die I shall then have my greatest grief and my greatest joy

(J.C. Ryle, Christian Leaders of the Last Century)

William Grimshaw was, above all, a man of rare humility. Few gifted men, perhaps, ever thought so humbly of themselves, or were so truly ready to honor others.

“What have we to boast of?” he once said. “What do we have, that we have not received? Freely by grace we are saved.¬†When I die I shall then have my greatest grief and my greatest joy: my greatest grief that I have done so little for Jesus; and my greatest joy that Jesus has done so much for me. My last words shall be,¬†“Here goes an unprofitable servant!”

On his deathbed he said, “Alas! what have my wretched services been. I have now need to cry, at the end of my unprofitable course:¬†God be merciful to me a sinner!”¬†

Shortly after, laying his hand on his heart, he said, “I am quite exhausted; but I shall soon be at¬†home, forever with the Lord–a poor miserable sinner redeemed by His precious blood!”

Our proper enjoyment of every earthly blessing

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Our proper enjoyment of every earthly blessing 

(Hannah More,¬† “The Love of God”)¬†

There are three requirements to our proper enjoyment 
of every earthly blessing
 which God bestows on us: 

  1. A thankful reflection on the goodness of the Giver. 

  2. A deep sense of the unworthiness of the receiver. 

  3. A sober recollection of the precarious tenure by which we hold it. 

The first would make us grateful, the second humble, the last moderate.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights” James 1:17¬†

What is the best remedy against the fear of man?

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What is the best remedy against the fear of man?

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

“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.¬†But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into Hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!” Luke 12:4-5

One thing that demands our attention in these verses, is¬†Christ’s warning against the fear of man.¬†“Do not be afraid,” He says, “of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.”

But He not only tells us whom we ought¬†not¬†to fear–but of whom we¬†ought¬†to be afraid. “Fear Him,” Jesus says, “Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into Hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!” The manner in which the lesson is conveyed is very striking and impressive. Twice over the exhortation is enforced. “Fear Him!” says our Lord. “Yes, I tell you, fear Him!”

The¬†fear of man¬†is one of the greatest obstacles which stand between the soul and Heaven. “What will others say of me? What will they think of me? What will others do to me?” How often these little questions have turned the balance against the soul, and kept men bound hand and foot by sin and the devil! Thousands would never hesitate a moment to storm a breach–who dare not face the laughter of relatives, neighbors and friends.

Now if the¬†fear of man¬†has such influence in these times–then how much greater must its influence have been in the days when our Lord was upon earth! If it is hard to follow Christ through ridicule and scornful words–then how much harder must it have been to follow Him through prisons, beatings, scourgings, and violent deaths! All these things our Lord Jesus knew well. No wonder that He cries,¬†“Do not be afraid!”

What is the best remedy against the fear of man?¬†How are we to overcome this powerful feeling, and break the¬†chains¬†which it throws around us? There is no remedy like that which our Lord recommends. We must supplant the fear of¬†man¬†by a higher and more powerful principle–the fear of¬†God. We must look away from those who can only hurt the body–to Him who has all dominion over the soul. We must turn our eyes from those who can only injure us in the life that now is–to Him who can condemn us to eternal misery in the life to come. Armed with this mighty principle, we shall not play the coward. Seeing Him that is invisible–we shall find the lesser fear melting away before the greater, and the weaker fear before the stronger.

“I fear God,” said Colonel Gardiner, “and therefore there is no one else that I need fear.” It was a noble saying of martyred Bishop Hooper, when a Roman Catholic urged him to save his life by recanting at the stake, “Life is sweet and death is bitter. But eternal life is more sweet–and eternal death is more bitter!”

And thus the churches were filled with unregenerate members!

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And thus the churches were filled with unregenerate members!

(Arthur Pink, 1886-1952)

Many of the pulpiteers of the past fifty years acted as though the first and last object of their calling was the salvation of souls, everything being made to bend to that aim. In consequence, the feeding of the sheep, the maintaining of Scriptural discipline in the church, and the inculcation of practical piety, was crowded out; and only too often all sorts of worldly devices and fleshly methods were employed under the plea that the end justified the means; and thus the churches were filled with unregenerate members! 

In reality, such men defeated their own aim. The hard heart must be ploughed and harrowed before it can be receptive to the gospel seed. Doctrinal instruction must be given on the character of God, the requirements of His Law, the nature and heinousness of sin–if a foundation is to be laid for true evangelism. It is useless to preach Christ unto souls, until they see and feel their desperate need of Him!

Engaged in the most menial part of the Lord’s work

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Engaged in the most menial part of the Lord’s work

(Charles Spurgeon)

“These were¬†potters, and those who dwelt among¬†plants¬†and¬†hedges. They lived there in the service of the King.” 1 Chronicles 4:23¬†

Potters¬†were not the very highest grade of workers–but “the King” needed potters, and therefore they were in royal service, although the material upon which they worked was nothing but clay. We, too, may be¬†engaged in the most menial part of the Lord’s work–but it is a great privilege to do anything for “the King”.

The text tells us of those who dwelt among¬†plants¬†and¬†hedges, having rough hedging and ditching work to do. They may have desired to live in the city, amid its life, society, and refinement–but they kept their appointed places, for they also were doing the King’s work. In the same way, the place of our habitation is fixed by God, and we are not to remove from it out of whim and caprice–but seek to serve the Lord in it, by being a blessing to those among whom we reside.¬†

These potters and gardeners had royal company, for they “lived there in the service of the King.” Just so, no lawful place, or gracious occupation, however lowly, can debar us from communion with our divine Lord. In visiting hovels, swarming lodging-houses, workhouses, or jails–we may go with the King. In all¬†works of faith¬†we may count upon Jesus’ fellowship. It is when we are in His work, that we may reckon upon His smile.¬†

You unknown workers who are occupied for your Lord amid the dirt and wretchedness of the lowest of the low–be of good cheer, for . . .
  precious jewels have been found in such lowly places,
  earthen pots have been filled with heavenly treasure, and
  noxious weeds have been transformed into precious flowers! 

Dwell with the King doing His work–and when He writes His chronicles, your name shall be recorded!

Nothing in this world is more beautiful

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Nothing in this world is more beautiful

(J.R. Miller)

A¬†ship¬†is made to go in the water, and no matter how deep the sea nor how wild the tempest–all goes well as long as the water does not get into the ship. The problem of managing a ship, is not to keep the ship out of the water–but to¬†keep the water out of the ship!

In this sinful world, we cannot avoid all¬†cares¬†and¬†trials¬†and¬†temptations.¬†The goal of of true Christian living is to keep these cares and trials and temptations from getting into our souls. Some people let all their frets and worries at once into their hearts–and they soon live out their lives in sourness, irritability, and discontent. They become thus miserable themselves–and they make all around them miserable. They cast, not cooling, healthful, refreshing shade on others–but melancholy, darksome, chilling shadows.¬†

Learn to keep your cares in your hands–and out of your hearts.¬†Nothing in this world is more beautiful¬†than a Christian life with many trials and cares–yet remaining ever peaceful and joyous amid them all. This is the real goal of noble Christian living.

On whom do you trust?

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On whom do you trust?

(Charles Spurgeon) 

On whom do you trust?” Isaiah 36:5

Reader, this is an important question. Listen to the Christian’s answer, and see if it is yours.¬†

“On whom do you trust?”

“I trust,” says the Christian, “in the triune God of Scripture!”

I trust the Father, believing that He has chosen me from before the foundation of the world. I trust Him to provide for me in His providence, to teach me, to guide me, to correct me if need be, and to bring me home to His own house where the many mansions are!

I trust the¬†Son. The¬†man¬†Christ Jesus–is also the true¬†God. I trust in Him as my¬†Redeemer–to take away all my sins by His atoning sacrifice, and to adorn me with His perfect righteousness. I trust Him to be my¬†Intercessor, to present my prayers and desires before His Father’s throne. I trust Him to be my¬†Advocate¬†at the last great day, to plead my cause, and to justify me. I trust Him . . .
  for what He is,
  for what He has done, and
  for what He has promised yet to do!

I trust the Holy Spirit. He has begun to save me from my inbred sins; I trust Him to finally drive them all out. I trust Him . . .
  to curb my debased temperament,
  to subdue my stubborn will,
  to enlighten my darkened understanding,
  to check my evil passions,
  to comfort my despondency,
  to help my spiritual weakness,
  to provide my spiritual nourishment, 
  to reign in me as my loving King,
  to sanctify me wholly, and then
  to take me up to dwell forever in glory!

Oh, blessed trust! To trust Him . . .
   whose power will never be exhausted,
   whose love will never wane,
   whose kindness will never change,
   whose faithfulness will never fail,
   whose wisdom will never be confounded, and
   whose perfect goodness can never know a diminution!

Happy are you, reader, if this trust is yours! So trusting, you shall enjoy sweet peace now, and glory hereafter! The foundation of your trust shall never be removed!

You are greatly loved!

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You are greatly loved!

“A man greatly loved by God.” Daniel 10:11¬†

Child of God, do you hesitate to appropriate this title? Ah! has your unbelief made you forget that you are greatly loved by God? 

Must you not have been greatly loved–to have been bought with the precious blood of Christ? When God smote His only begotten Son for you–what was this but being greatly loved by Him? You lived in sin and rioted in it–must you not have been greatly loved for God to have borne so patiently with you? You were called by grace and led to the Savior, and made a child of God and an heir of¬†Heaven! All this proves, does it not–a very great and super-abounding love for you?¬†

Since that time, whether your path has been¬†rough with troubles, or¬†smooth with mercies–it has been full of proofs that you are greatly loved by God. If the Lord has¬†chastened¬†you–yet it was not in anger. If He has made you¬†poor–yet you have been¬†maderich in grace. The more unworthy you feel yourself to be–the more evidence you have that nothing but unspeakable divine love could have led the Lord Jesus to save such a soul as yours! The more demerit you feel–the clearer is the display of the abounding love of God, in having chosen you, and called you, and made you an heir of everlasting bliss!

Now, if there is such great love from God to us–let us live in the influence and sweetness of it, and use the privilege of our exalted position as God’s redeemed children. Do not let us approach our Lord as though we were¬†strangers, or as though He were¬†unwilling¬†to hear us–for we are greatly cherished by our compassionate Father!

“He who spared not His own Son–but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” Come boldly, O believer, for despite the whisperings of Satan and the doubtings of your own heart–you are greatly loved!¬†Meditate on the exceeding vastness and faithfulness of Christ’s matchless love to you!

“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully!”¬†Ephesians 3:19¬†

I would recommend all parents to get this kind of Bible

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I would recommend all parents to get this kind of Bible

(J.R. Miller)

“Your Word is a lamp to my feet, and a light for my path!” Psalm 119:105¬†

In many houses you will see beautiful Bibles bound handsomely in morocco leather, with gilt edges, and full of bright pictures. I love to see a beautiful Bible in a home–especially if it is not kept too clean and unsoiled. But the most beautiful form in which a household Bible can be bound, is in the holy life of godly parents. There is no tinted, gold-edged paper so lovely–as the pages God gives us on which to write our daily record.¬†

The precepts and lessons of the inspired Word sound very sweetly when read out of a richly-covered volume–but they sound far more sweetly, when the child can spell them out of the parent’s daily life.¬†

It is well for a parent to¬†read¬†to his child from the inspired page about the beauty of holiness; but it is better still when the child can¬†see¬†that beauty shining out transfigured in every feature of his parent’s character.¬†

It is well for him to read of the patience, gentleness, meekness, forbearance, and love of Christ; but it is better when he exemplifies all of these traits. 

It is well for him to teach the child what the Bible says about lying, profanity, intemperance, and all sins; it is better when his life proclaims all these lessons.

No family Bible is so well printed and bound, as the one that is printed on the heart, and bound up in the life of a godly parent.¬†I would recommend all parents to get this kind of Bible–and to keep the dust off it always by constant use. This is the best kind for a¬†lamp¬†to the children’s feet.

A beautiful Christian life is a¬†living epistle¬†written by the hand of God–which the youngest child can read before it has learned to spell out the shortest words of the language. It is a sermon that preaches Christ all day long–seven days in the week!

There is no heresy so dangerous to childhood–as heresies lived in the home!

In love He blessed us with all spiritual blessings!

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In love He blessed us with all spiritual blessings!

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

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ.” Ephesians 1:3

God’s love to us is infinite. He considers nothing too good or too great to confer upon His redeemed children. Having chosen us in His Son, that we may be holy and blameless before Him–in love He blessed us with all spiritual blessings. He gave us . . .
  grace in Jesus,
  grace before the foundation of the world, 
  grace for all time, 
  grace for all trials,
  grace to be given to us as our circumstances may require. 

In going to the throne of grace, therefore–we simply go to receive what our heavenly Father has stored up in Jesus for us. What sweet encouragement is this! Well may the apostle say, “Therefore let us come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find¬†grace¬†to help in time of need.”¬†

Blessed Lord, we thank You, we praise You, we bless Your glorious name–that You have chosen us and put us into Christ, made provision for us in Christ, and will make us perfectly holy through Christ. Teach us to come with boldness and confidence to Your throne, that we may obtain for our use, all that You have treasured up for us in Jesus. O give us . . .
  more faith in Christ,
  more humility when at your throne,
  more zeal for Your glory when in the world, 
  more love to You and Your people; and 
teach us to eat, drink, dress, and do everything to Your glory! 

O to be thoroughly Christ-like! O to reflect the glory of God on all around us! O to live and act as on the confines of eternity, as if always impressed with this fact,¬†“I shall soon be in Heaven!”¬†Gracious Savior, raise me above this world, fix my affections on Yourself, fill me with Your Spirit, and enable me to lie down tonight with the assurance that all spiritual blessings are mine!

Put On The Whole Armour Of God

Power Armour

¬†ūüďĖ Verse 4 2day¬†~ Ephesians 6:10-18

 The Armour of God 

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

My Thoughts ūüí≠¬†
Each morning I like to pray the armour of God prayer to ask God to equip me for the day. When not in prayer, and when I hear the words armour of God my mind shoots back to the image above, which is Power Armour) from the Playstation 3 game Fallout 3. 

I¬†know that video games get a lot of negative abuse, but¬†I¬†would just like to share this with you. No i’m not losing sight of reality, please bear with me. ūüėÄ

My point……¬†

¬†For us to stand any chance of¬†surviving¬†against the devil’s schemes,¬†powers¬†of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms, we MUST choose to put on the spiritual armour. Unlike the game we know the location of this armour is in prayer.¬†

Ready…..Aim..…Pray!

 I urge you to pray on the Armour of God Ephesians 6 (as listed above). Take a moment and carefully consider the power, purpose and reality of each piece as you put it on.

ūüôŹ Prayer 4 2day!¬†

“Lord, please help me this day put on the Full Armour of God.

Help me put the Helmet of Salvation on my head that I might always remember I am saved, and who I belong to, that my mind is guarded in Christ Jesus, and that I may have the mind of Christ and that I may think the thoughts of Christ and reject all others.

Help me put the Breastplate of Righteousness on so that I may walk about in Righteousness and others may see your Righteousness in me, and that my heart is guarded in Christ Jesus, and that I may have the desires of Christ and reject all others.

Help me keep the Belt of Truth securely buckled on my waist, that I may always be secure in the knowledge of the Truth and always speak the Truth in Love.

Help me fit my Feet with the Readiness that comes from the Gospel of Peace, that I may stand firm in the Gospel, and spread the Gospel of Peace wherever I go.

Help hold the Shield of Faith with which to extinguish the flaming arrows of the evil one, strengthen my arm and help me hold it high, that I may use it to protect myself, my family, my household and those under my care, and help me use the Shield of Faith to press ahead and push forward for the kingdom of God.

And Lord, help me take up the Sword of The Spirit which is the Word of God, and use it every day, help me use it to protect myself and others from the evil one through the power and authority of Your Word, and to strike the hearts and minds of those who do not know You calling them towards repentance and salvation, help me use Your Word – the Sword of the Spirit – to cause those who know you but are backslidden to repentance, obedience and service, and to help awaken those who know you, but are asleep so they may obey and serve you, and please help me use your Word to bring, encouragement, strength and wisdom to the Remnant of God through your Word.

Help me serve you this and every day. Please use me Lord. These things I ask in the Name of Jesus Christ.

Amen‚ÄĚ.

The panacea for all the ills of life!

Grace logoThe panacea for all the ills of life!

(James Smith, “The Spirit’s Work in the Believer” 1861)

“The mind of sinful man is death, but¬†the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6

Spirituality flows from the gracious operations of the Holy Spirit in the soul, who . . .
  kindles spiritual love, 
  awakens spiritual desires, and 
  produces spiritual devotion. 

The Spirit’s work in the believer¬†consists:

1. In convincing us of sin, when we go astray from the right ways of the Lord.

2. In working repentance within us, and leading us to confess and mourn over our sins before God.

3. In opening up, and applying the Word of God, so that it . . .
  meets our case,
  feeds our faith,
  fires our love, and
  deepens our humility.

4. In exciting and drawing forth the soul in¬†prayer, praise, and adoration at the throne of God–so that we sometimes . . .
  melt in contrition,
  are crumbled down in humiliation,
  and are almost dissolved in love.

5. In giving us soul-refreshing glimpses . . .
  of the glorious person of Jesus,
  of the everlasting covenant,
  and of eternal glory.

6. In melting us down in sincere gratitude before God, under a sense of His undeserved favor.

7. In removing all legal fears, and causing holy peace to flow through the soul like a river.

8. In melting us in meekness, and producing sweet submission to the sovereign will of God.

9. In sweetly soothing and consoling under trials and bereavements; and enabling us to look heavenward with hope and joy.

10. In giving us sweet intimations of the love of God to us, by holy discoveries of His grace.

11. In witnessing to our¬†adoption, awakening the cry of¬†“Abba, Father!”¬†in our hearts, and enabling us to claim a filial relationship to God.

12. In drawing forth our souls in¬†love to God–under an overcoming sense of His free and unparalleled love to us.

13. In enabling us to¬†mount upward¬†as on the wings of an eagle, and to¬†run¬†with pleasure and delight in God’s holy ways.

15. In quickening us to rejoice in the Lord, when all things around are calculated to fill us with despondency and gloom.

16. In producing¬†perseverance¬†in our souls, and enabling us to look away from the things which are seen and temporal–and to look to unseen and eternal realities.

The Spirit works within the Christian, teaching him daily to make use of Christ as the panacea for all the ills of life!

In all these things, and many more–the work of the Spirit in the experience of the believer appears.

Reader, do you know anything of these things in your own experience? 
Is the Spirit daily working in your heart, and do you pay attention to . . .
  the lessons He teaches,
  the impressions He makes, and
  the direction in which He points?

O for more of the Spirit’s work within us–that we may live to the praise and glory of Him who loved us, and died to redeem us from sin, death and Hell!

Holy Spirit, work in us more and more–teaching us Your truth, and conforming us to Christ! O for more of Your power, love, and holiness!

We Drift…

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‚ÄúPeople do not drift toward Holiness. Apart from grace-driven effort, people do not gravitate toward godliness, prayer, obedience to Scripture, faith, and delight in the Lord. We drift toward compromise and call it tolerance; we drift toward disobedience and call it freedom; we drift toward superstition and call it faith. We cherish the indiscipline of lost self-control and call it relaxation; we slouch toward prayerlessness and delude ourselves into thinking we have escaped legalism; we slide toward godlessness and convince ourselves we have been liberated.‚ÄĚ ‚Äē D.A. Carson


Busy yourselves about toys and trifles!


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Busy yourselves about toys and trifles!


(“Christ’s Famous Titles!”¬†
William Dyer, 1632-1696)

“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life.” John 6:27

Labor more for inward purity–than for outward felicity.¬†

That man who is a laboring bee for earthly prosperity, will be but an idle drone for heavenly felicity. 
Gold in your bags will make you greater–but it is grace in your heart that will make you holier.¬†
He is a rich man who lives upon his wealth–but he is a righteous man who lives upon his faith!¬†
A heavenly conversation, is better than any earthly possession.
It is a great mercy to have a portion in the world–but to have the world for a portion, is a great misery.¬†

Our affections were made for things that are above us, and not for things that are below us. “If you have been raised to new life with Christ,” What then? “Set your¬†hearts¬†on things above! Set your¬†minds¬†on things above, not on earthly things!” Colossians 3:1-2

But, alas! some men are so in love with their golden bags, that they will ride with all possible haste to Hell–if they are but paid well for their pains! They look upon¬†gain¬†as the highest good, and not upon¬†godliness¬†as the highest gain!¬†
They mind the¬†present¬†world so much–as if it would never have an ending!¬†
They mind the world¬†to come¬†so little–as if it would never have a beginning!¬†
The perishing things of this world–are all the happiness of the men of this world!¬†
Oh, what wretched worldlings!
 

They are diligent about what is temporal–but negligent about what is eternal!¬†
They are careful about fleeting vanities–but slothful about durable excellencies!¬†
They feast their bodies–but starve their souls!¬†
They lay up treasures on earth–but none in Heaven!¬†

“Why do you spend money on what is not food, and your wages on what does not satisfy?” Isaiah 55:2. He who knocks at the¬†creature’s door¬†for true happiness–will find but an empty house kept there.¬†

Oh, beloved, what is gold, compared to grace? What is earth, compared to Heaven? that you thus neglect the great things, the weighty things, the eternal things–and¬†busy yourselves about toys and trifles!¬†You have a¬†crown¬†to look after, a¬†Heaven¬†to look after, a¬†kingdom¬†to look after!

I beseech you, beloved, labor more for inward holiness–than for outward happiness!¬†
Labor more for the seed of grace–than for the bag of gold!
Labor more for inward piety–than for outward plenty!
Labor more for a heavenly kingdom–than for an earthly possession!¬†
The earth is a saint’s¬†passage–but Heaven is a saint’s¬†portion!

They are preaching up the devil’s old, favorite doctrine!

Grace logoThey are preaching up the devil’s old, favorite doctrine!

(J.C. Ryle)

There is such a place as Hell. Let no one deceive you with vain words. What people do not¬†like–they try hard not to¬†believe. When the Lord Jesus Christ comes to judge the world, He will punish all who are not His disciples with a fearful punishment!

All who are found unrepentant and unbelieving; 
all who have clung to sin;
all who have set their affections on worldly things; 
all who are without a saving relationship to Christ–
all such shall come to a dreadful end! “Anyone whose name was not found recorded in the¬†Book of Life, was thrown into the¬†Lake of Fire!”¬†Revelation 20:15

1) I know that some people do not believe that there is¬†any¬†Hell at all.¬†They think it impossible that there can be such a place. They call it inconsistent with the¬†mercy¬†of God. They say that it is too awful an idea to be really true. The devil of course, rejoices in the views of such people. They help his kingdom mightily.¬†They are preaching up the devil’s old, favorite doctrine,¬†“You shall not surely die!”¬†Genesis 3:4

2) I know furthermore, that some do not believe that¬†Hell is¬†eternal!¬†They tell us that it is incredible that a compassionate God will punish people forever. They imagine that He will surely open the¬†prison doors of Hell¬†at last. This also is a mighty help to the devil’s cause.

3) I know also that some believe that there is a Hell, but never allow that anybody is going there! They imagine that . . .
  all people are good,
  all are sincere, 
  all mean well, and 
  all, they hope, will go to Heaven when they die!
Alas! what a common delusion is this!

If I never spoke of Hell–I would think I had kept back something that was profitable, and would look on myself as¬†an accomplice of the devil.

Reader, I beseech you, in all tender affection–beware of¬†false¬†views of the subject on which I have been dwelling. Beware of¬†new¬†and¬†strange¬†doctrines about¬†Hell¬†and the¬†eternity of punishment. Beware of manufacturing a¬†god¬†of your own:¬†
¬† a god who is all mercy–but not just;¬†
¬† a god who is all love–but not holy;¬†
¬† a god who has a Heaven for everyone–but a Hell for none;
  a god who will make no distinction between the godly and the ungodly in eternity. 

Such a god is an idol of your own imagination! It is as truly an idol, as any snake or crocodile in an Egyptian temple! The hands of your own¬†imagination¬†and¬†sentimentality¬†have made it! It is not the God of the Bible–and beside the God of the Bible, there is no God at all.

Why do we love Jesus?

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Why do we love Jesus? 

“We love Him, because He first loved us!” 1 John 4:19¬†

We love Him, because He “gave Himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for Himself a people that are His very own!”¬†Titus 2:14¬†

We love Him, because we have life through His death, and forgiveness through His blood. 

We love Him, because¬†“though He was rich, yet for our sake He became poor, so that we through His poverty might become rich!” 2 Corinthians 8:9¬†

We love Him, because of the excellency of His person. We are filled with . . .
 a sense of His beauty,
 an admiration of His charms,
 a consciousness of His infinite perfections! 

We love Him, because¬†His greatness, goodness, and loveliness, in one resplendent ray–combine to enchant our soul until it is so ravished that it exclaims,¬†“Yes, He is altogether lovely!”¬†

We love Him, because His love binds our hearts with chains more soft than silk, and yet stronger than iron! 

“To you who believe, He is precious!”¬†1 Peter 2:7¬†

It is not a loss to die!

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It is not a loss to die!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“The day of one’s death is better than the day of one’s birth!”¬†Ecclesiastes 7:1¬†

“I do not want to live forever.”¬†Job 7:16¬†


It is the very joy of this earthly life, to think that it will come to an end.


The best moment of a Christian’s life is his last one, for then he is nearest Heaven.¬†


The only people for whom I have felt any envy have been dying Christians.

 
It is not a loss to die–it is a lasting, perpetual gain.


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


“My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better!” Philippians 1:23¬†

A sermon that will make the devils in Hell laugh, and the angels of God weep!

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A sermon that will make the devils in Hell laugh, and the angels of God weep!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2¬†

The best sermons are the sermons which are most full of Christ. 
A sermon without Christ it is a horrible thing! It is . . .
  an empty well; 
  a cloud without rain; 
  a tree twice dead, plucked by the roots. 

It is abominable to give men stones for bread, and scorpions for eggs–and yet they do so who preach not Jesus.¬†

A sermon without Christ! As well talk of a loaf of bread without any flour in it. How can it feed the soul? Men die and perish because Christ is not there, and yet His glorious gospel is the¬†easiest¬†thing to preach, and the¬†sweetest¬†thing to preach–there is most¬†variety¬†in it, there is more¬†attractiveness¬†in it than in all the world besides!

The sermon which does not lead to Christ, or of which Jesus Christ is not the top and the bottom–is a sort of¬†sermon that will make the devils in Hell laugh, and the angels of God weep!

The mark of true Gospel preaching is where Christ is everything, and the creature is nothing; where salvation is all of grace, through the work of the Holy Spirit applying to the soul the precious blood of Jesus.

“We preach Christ crucified!” 1 Corinthians 1:23¬†

It is your duty to assure him that he is not saved

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It is your duty to assure him that he is not saved

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Not everyone who¬†says¬†to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’¬†will enter the kingdom of Heaven, but only he who¬†does the will¬†of My Father who is in Heaven.” Matthew 7:21¬†

“I will tell them plainly: I never knew you. Away from Me, you evildoers!” Matthew 7:23¬†

If a professed convert distinctly and deliberately declares that he knows the Lord’s will, but does not mean to¬†obey¬†it–then you are not to pamper his presumption, but¬†it is your duty to assure him that he is not saved.¬†

Do not suppose that the Gospel is magnified or God glorified, by going to religious worldlings and telling them that they are saved–while they are still wedded to their idols, and their hearts are still in love with sin. If I do so, I . . .
  tell them a lie,
  pervert the Gospel,
  insult Christ, and
  turn the grace of God into a license for sin!

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

Some benefits of sickness and affliction

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Some benefits of sickness and affliction

(J.C. Ryle)

Sickness helps . . .
  to remind men of death,
  to make men think seriously of God, and their souls, and the world to come,
¬† to soften men’s hearts, and teach them wisdom,¬†
  to abase and humble us, 
¬† to try men’s religion, of what sort it is.

The¬†storms of winter¬†often bring out the defects in a man’s dwelling. In the same way, sickness often exposes the gracelessness of a man’s soul. Surely anything that makes us find out the real character of our faith, is a good thing.

Sicknesses, losses, crosses, anxieties and disappointments–seem absolutely needful to keep us humble, watchful and spiritual-minded. They are as needful as the pruning knife to the vine; and the refiner’s furnace to the gold.

There is no commentary that opens up the Bible, so much as sickness and sorrow!

There are no lessons so useful–as those learned in the¬†school of affliction.¬†

By affliction, God . . .
  shows us our emptiness and weakness, 
  draws us to the throne of grace, 
  purifies our affections, 
  weans us from the world, 
  and makes us long for Heaven!

He is a bad preacher!

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He is a bad preacher!

(Charles Spurgeon) 

“Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.” Joel 1:3¬†

In this simple way, by God’s grace, a living testimony for truth is always to be kept alive in the land. The beloved of the Lord are to hand down their witness for the gospel to their heirs, and these again to their next descendants.¬†

This is our¬†first¬†duty–we are to begin at the¬†family hearth.¬†He is a bad preacher, who does not commence his ministry¬†at home. The heathen are to be sought by all means, and the highways and hedges are to be searched–but¬†home¬†has a prior claim, and woe unto those who reverse the order of the Lord’s arrangements.¬†

To teach our children is a¬†personal¬†duty. We cannot delegate it to Sunday School Teachers, or to the church. These can¬†assist¬†us–but cannot¬†relieve¬†us from the sacred obligation. Mothers and fathers must, like Abraham, command their households in the fear of God, and talk with their offspring concerning the wondrous works of the Most High God.¬†

Parental teaching is a¬†natural¬†duty. Who is so fit to look to after child’s well-being, as those who are the authors of his actual being? To neglect the instruction of our offspring is worse than brutish!¬†

Family instruction is necessary for the nation, for the family itself, and for the church of God. By a thousand plots, atheism is covertly advancing in our land, and one of the most effectual means for resisting its inroads is left almost neglected, namely, the instruction of children in the faith. Would that parents would awaken to a sense of the importance of this matter. 

It is a¬†pleasant¬†duty to talk of Jesus to our sons and daughters, and the more so because it has often proved to be an¬†accepted¬†work, for God has often saved the children through the parents’ prayers and admonitions.¬†

May every house into which this counsel shall come, honor the Lord in this matter and receive His smile!

“These commandments that I give to you today are to be upon your hearts.¬†Impress them on your children.¬†Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates!”¬†Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the¬†training¬†and¬†instruction¬†of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4¬†

When the Father of Lies enters the pulpit with a Bible under his arm!

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When the Father of Lies enters the pulpit with a Bible under his arm!

(Arthur Pink, 1886-1952)

The success of a counterfeiter depends largely upon how closely the counterfeit resembles the genuine article. 

Heresy is not so much the total denial of the truth, as a perversion of it. That is why a half-lie is always more dangerous than a complete repudiation. 

Hence when the Father of Lies enters the pulpit with a Bible under his arm it is not his custom to flatly deny the fundamental truths of Christianity; rather he tacitly acknowledges them, and then proceeds to give an erroneous interpretation and a false application.

False prophets are to be found in the circles of the most orthodox, and they pretend to have a fervent love for souls–yet they fatally delude multitudes concerning the way of salvation! These¬†pulpit hucksters¬†have wantonly lowered the standard of divine holiness and so adulterated the Gospel, in order to make it palatable to the carnal mind.

Any preacher . . .
¬† who adulterates God’s Word,
  who denies repentance to be a condition of salvation,
  who assures the giddy and godless that they are loved by God,
  who declares that saving faith is nothing more mental assent
–is a false prophet, and should be shunned as a deadly plague!

It is only those who truly love Christ who are fitted to minister to His flock! 
The work is so laborious, 
the appreciation is often so small, 
the response is so discouraging, 
the criticisms are so harsh, 
the attacks of Satan are so fierce,
that only the “love of Christ”–His love for us and our love for Him–can “constrain” to such work.¬†

“Hirelings” will feed the goats–but only those who love Christ can feed His sheep!

Christian Love Part 4 Of 4 By J. C. Ryle

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IV. Let me show, lastly–why¬†love is called the “greatest” of the graces.

The words of Paul, on this subject, are distinct and unmistakable. He winds up his wonderful chapter on love in the following manner: “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the¬†greatest¬†of these is love!” 1 Corinthians 13:13¬†

This expression is very remarkable. Of all the writers in the New Testament, none, certainly, exalts “faith” so highly as Paul. The Epistles to the Romans and Galatians abound in sentences showing its vast importance. By faith, the sinner lays hold on Christ and is saved. Through faith, we are justified, and have peace with God. Yet here the same Paul speaks of something which is even¬†greater than faith!¬†He puts before us the three leading Christian graces, and pronounces the following judgment on them, “The greatest is love!” Such a¬†sentence¬†from such a¬†writer¬†demands special attention. What are we to understand, when we hear of love being greater than faith and hope?

We are not to suppose, for a moment, that love can¬†atone¬†for our sins, or make our¬†peace¬†with God. Nothing can do that for us, but the blood of Christ; and nothing can give us a saving interest in Christ’s blood, but faith. It is Scriptural ignorance not to know this. The office of justifying and joining the soul to Christ, belongs to¬†faith alone. Our love, and all our other graces, are all more or less imperfect, and could not stand the severity of God’s judgment. When we have done all–we are “unprofitable servants.” (Luke 17:10.)

We are not to suppose that Christian love can exist independently of faith. Paul did not intend to set up one grace in¬†rivalry¬†to the other. He did not mean that one man might have faith, another hope, and another love–and that the best of these, was the man who had love.¬†The three graces are inseparably joined together.¬†Where there is faith, there will always be love; and where there is love, there will be faith. Sun and light, fire and heat, ice and cold, are not more intimately united than faith and love!

The reasons why love is called the greatest of the three graces, appear to me plain and simple. Let me show what they are.

(a)¬†Love is called the greatest of graces, because it is the one in which there is some¬†likeness between the believer and his God. God has no need of faith. He is dependent on no one. There is none superior to Him in whom He must trust. God has no need of hope. To Him all things are certain, whether past, present, or to come. But “God is love” and the more love His people have–the more similar they are to their Father in Heaven.

(b)¬†Love, for another thing, is called the greatest of the graces, because it is most¬†useful to others. Faith and hope, beyond doubt, however precious, have special reference to a believer’s own private individual benefit.¬†Faith¬†unites the soul to Christ, brings peace with God, and opens the way to Heaven.¬†Hope¬†fills the soul with cheerful expectation of things to come, and, amid the many discouragements of things seen, comforts with visions of the things unseen.¬†

But¬†love¬†is pre-eminently the grace which makes a man useful. It is the¬†spring¬†of good works and kindnesses. It is the¬†root¬†of missions, schools, and hospitals. Love made apostles spend and be spent for souls. Love raises up workers for Christ, and keeps them working. Love smooths quarrels, and stops strife–and in this sense, “covers a multitude of sins.” (1 Peter 4:8.) Love adorns Christianity, and recommends it to the world. A man may have real faith, and feel it–and yet his faith may be invisible to others. But a man’s love cannot be hidden.

(c)¬†Love, in the last place, is the greatest of the graces, because it is the one which¬†endures the longest. In fact, it will never die.¬†Faith¬†will one day be swallowed up in sight–and¬†hope¬†in certainty. Their office will be useless in the morning of the resurrection; and, like old almanacs, they will be laid aside. But love will live on through the endless ages of eternity! Heaven will be the abode of love. The inhabitants of Heaven will be full of love. One¬†common feeling¬†will be in all their hearts, and that will be¬†love.

I leave this part of my subject here, and pass on to a¬†CONCLUSION. On each of the three points of comparison I have just named, between love and the other graces, it would be easy to enlarge. But time and space both forbid me to do so. If I have said enough to guard men against mistakes about the¬†right meaning, of the¬†greatness¬†of love–I am content. Love, be it ever remembered, cannot justify and put away our sins. It is neither Christ, nor faith.¬†
But love makes us somewhat like God. 
Love is of mighty use to the world. 
Love will live and flourish when faith’s work is done.¬†
Surely, in these points of view–love well deserves the crown!

(1) And now let me ask every one into whose hands this paper may come a simple question. Let me press home on your conscience the whole subject of this paper. Do you know anything of the grace of which I have been speaking? Do you have Christian love?

The strong language of the Apostle Paul must surely convince you that the inquiry is not one that ought to be lightly put aside. The grace, without which that holy man could say, “I am nothing,” the grace which the Lord Jesus says expressly is the great mark of being His disciple–such a grace as this, demands the serious consideration of every one who is in earnest about the salvation of his soul. It should set him thinking, “How does this affect me? Do I have Christian love?”

You have some¬†knowledge, it may be, of religion. You know the difference between true and false doctrine. You can, perhaps, even quote texts, and defend the opinions you hold. But, remember the knowledge which is barren of practical results in life and temper–is a useless possession! The words of the Apostle are very plain: “If I can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge–but have not love, I am nothing!” (1 Corinthians 13:3.)

You think you have¬†faith, perhaps. You trust you are one of God’s elect, and rest in that. But surely you should remember that there is a faith of¬†devils, which is utterly unprofitable–and that the faith of God’s elect is a “faith which works by love.” It was when Paul remembered the “love” of the Thessalonians, as well as their faith and hope, that he said, “I know your election of God.” (1 Thessalonians 1:4.)

Look at your own¬†daily life, both at home and abroad, and consider what place Christian love has in it. What is your temper? What are your ways of¬†behaving¬†toward all around you in your own family? What is your manner of¬†speaking, especially in seasons of vexation and provocation? Where is your good-nature, your courtesy, your patience, your meekness, your gentleness, your forbearance? Where are your¬†practical actions of love¬†in your dealing with others? What do you know of the mind of Him who “went about doing good”–who loved all, though specially His disciples–who returned good for evil, and kindness for hatred, and had a heart wide enough to feel for all?

What would you do in Heaven, I wonder, if you got there without love? What comfort could you have in an abode where love was the law, and selfishness and ill-nature completely shut out? Alas! I fear that Heaven would be no place for an uncharitable and ill-tempered man! A little boy said, “If¬†grandfather¬†goes to Heaven–I hope my brother and I will not go there.” “Why do you say that?” he was asked. He replied, “If he sees us there, I am sure he will say, as he does now–‘What are these boys doing here? Get them get out of the way!’ He does not like to see us on earth, and I suppose he would not like to see us in Heaven!”

Give yourself no rest, until you know something by experience of real Christian love. Go and learn of Him who is meek and lowly of heart, and ask Him to teach you how to love. Ask the Lord Jesus to put His Spirit within you, to take away the old heart, to give you a new nature, to make you know something of His mind. Cry to Him night and day for grace, and give Him no rest until you feel something of what I have been describing in this paper. Happy indeed will your life be, when you really understand “walking in love.”

(2) But I do not forget that I am writing to some who are not ignorant of the love of Scripture, and who long to feel more of it every year. I will give you two simple words of exhortation. They are these:

Practice love diligently.¬†It is one of those graces, above all, which¬†grow¬†by constant¬†exercise. Strive more and more to carry it into every little detail of daily life. Watch over your own tongue and temper throughout every hour of the day, and especially in your dealings with children and spouse. Remember the character of the excellent woman: “In her tongue is the¬†law of kindness.” (Proverbs 31:26.)¬†

Remember the words of Paul: “Let ALL your things be done with love.” (1 Corinthians 16:14.) Love should be seen in¬†little¬†things, as well as in great ones.¬†

Remember, not least, the words of Peter: “Have fervent love among yourselves;” not a love which just keeps alight, but a burning shining fire, which all around can see! (1 Peter 4:8.) It may cost pains and trouble to keep these things in mind. There may be little encouragement from the example of others. But persevere. Love like this brings its own reward!

Finally,¬†teach love to others. Press it continually on your¬†children. Tell them the great duty of kindness, helpfulness, and considerateness, one for another. Remind them constantly that kindness, good nature, and good temper, are among the first¬†evidences¬†which Christ requires in children. If they cannot know much, or explain doctrines–they can understand love. A child’s religion is worth very little if it only consists in repeating texts and hymns. As useful as they are, they are often . . .
learned without thought, 
remembered without feeling, 
repeated without consideration of their meaning, 
and forgotten when childhood is gone!

By all means let children be taught texts and hymns; but let not such teaching be made¬†everything¬†in their religion. Teach them to keep their tempers, to be kind one to another, to be unselfish, good-natured, obliging, patient, gentle, forgiving. Tell them never to forget to their dying day, if they live as long as Methuselah, that¬†without love, the Holy Spirit says, “we are nothing.” Tell them “above all things–to put on love, which is the bond of perfectness.” (Colos. 3:14.)

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