Tag Archives: Daily Devotional

They must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction!

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They must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Before I was afflicted I went astray ‚ÄĒ but now I obey Your Word.” Psalm 119:67¬†

“It was good for me to be afflicted ‚ÄĒ so that I might learn Your decrees.” Psalm 119:71

Most of the great truths of God have to be learned through trials! They must be burned into us with the hot iron of affliction, otherwise we shall not truly receive them.

“I know, O Lord, that Your laws are righteous ‚ÄĒ and in faithfulness You have afflicted me.” Psalm 119:75¬†

“God disciplines us for our good ‚ÄĒ that we may share in His holiness!” Hebrews 12:10¬†

What is man ‚ÄĒ that You are mindful of him?

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What is man ‚ÄĒ that You are mindful of him?

(Hugh Brown, “Altogether Lovely!” 1897)

What is man ‚ÄĒ that You are mindful of him?” Psalm 8:4¬†

What is man? 

Where did he come from? 

Where does his pathway lead? 

Man¬†was¬†once¬†the crowning piece of God’s workmanship, made in His own image, and given dominion over the works of His hands!

Alas! We now only know man . . .
¬† in his¬†fallen¬†state ‚ÄĒ not as God created him,¬†
  with the crown fallen from his head, 
  as a rebel against his Maker, 
  as the slave of sin, 
  as a willing subject of Satan, 
  in his weakness,
  compassed with infirmity,
  the prey of many diseases, 
¬† as “of few days, and full of trouble,”¬†
  as a bearer of burdens,
  with a heritage of sorrow!

So fearfully and wonderfully is man made ‚ÄĒ¬†¬†
¬† so great ‚ÄĒ and yet so little;¬†
¬† so noble ‚ÄĒ yet so base;¬†
¬† a feeble spark of life ‚ÄĒ yet having an eternal destiny!¬†

We now only know man . . .
  in his sinfulness, 
¬† with a “heart deceitful above all things ‚ÄĒ and desperately wicked,”¬†
  torn by conflicting passions, 
  in the vile bondage of iniquity,
  sin reigning within and without, 
  proud, 
  arrogant,
  self-seeking,
  vain,
  making the earth a habitation of cruelty!

For though sometimes in his youth, life may seem bright while he eagerly hunts after pleasure ‚ÄĒ how soon the¬†flowers fade, the¬†bubble bursts¬†‚ÄĒ and he is left with emptiness in his heart and learns by sad experience the truth of God‚Äôs Word:¬†“Truly, every man at his best estate is altogether vanity!”¬†

The annals of hell‚ÄĒor the biography of devils!

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The annals of hell‚ÄĒor the biography of devils!

(Samuel Davies, “The Universal Judgment!”)

Though we are too apt to think that we are not accountable for our¬†words‚ÄĒHe who is to be our Judge, has plainly told us that “for¬†every careless word¬†which men speak, they shall give an account in the day of judgment.” Matthew 12:36

“For God will bring every deed¬†into judgment, including¬†every hidden thing, whether it is good or evil.” Ecclesiastes 12:14

What astonishing discoveries will this trial of every hidden thing make! 

On the one hand‚ÄĒwhat¬†noble dispositions¬†which never shone in full beauty to mortal eyes! What¬†generous purposes¬†crushed in embryo for lack of power to execute them! What¬†pious and noble actions¬†concealed under the veil of modesty, or misconstrued by ignorance and prejudice! What¬†affectionate aspirations, what¬†devout exercises of heart, which lay open only to the¬†eyes of Omniscience, are now brought to full light, and receive the approbation of the Supreme Judge before the assembled universe”!

But on the other hand‚ÄĒwhat works of¬†shame¬†and¬†darkness¬†are then revealed! What hidden things of dishonesty! What dire secrets of treachery, hypocrisy, lewdness, and various forms of wickedness‚ÄĒall artfully and industriously concealed from human sight! What horrid exploits of sin now burst to light in all their hellish colors‚ÄĒto the confusion of the guilty, and the astonishment and horror of the universe!

Surely the¬†history of mankind¬†must then appear like¬†the annals of hell‚ÄĒor the biography of devils!¬†Then the¬†mask of deceit¬†will be torn off‚ÄĒand men¬†will appear in their true characters. Their hearts will be, as it were, turned outwards‚ÄĒand all their¬†secrets¬†exposed to full view!

The design of this judicial inquiry will not be to inform the omniscient Judge‚ÄĒbut to convince all worlds of the justice of His proceedings. And this design renders it necessary that all these ‘secret things’ should be laid open to their sight, that they may see the grounds upon which He passes sentence.

Does not the prospect of such a ‘revealing’ fill some of you with horror? For many of your actions, and especially of your¬†thoughts‚ÄĒwill not bear the light. How would it confound you, if all your secret thoughts were now all published, even in the small circle of your friends! How then, can you bear to have them all fully exposed before God, angels, and the universe! Will it not confound you with shame, and make you¬†objects of everlasting contempt¬†to all worlds!

A most influential sermon!

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A most influential sermon!

(James Smith, “Good News for All” 1860)

“You, however, know all about my teaching,¬†my way of life,
 and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my
¬†patience, my love, and my endurance.” 2 Timothy 3:10¬†

A holy life is a most influential sermon!

“You ought to live holy and godly lives!” 2 Peter 3:11

See the cause of my happiness

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See the cause of my happiness

(James Smith, “My Savior!” 1860)

My soul, meditate for a few moments on what Jesus¬†is¬†to you, and what Jesus has¬†done¬†for you. Look back and glance at the¬†circumstances¬†in which He found you ‚ÄĒ and the¬†deliverance¬†which He wrought for you.

1. The¬†circumstances¬†in which Jesus found you.¬†Jesus found me¬†out of the way. God by His law had marked out a way in which His creatures should walk ‚ÄĒ its character was holiness, and its end His glory. But all we like sheep had gone astray, we had turned every one to his own way. We were in the path of death and destruction, and on the way to Hell.¬†

We were not only out of the way ‚ÄĒ but we were¬†enslaved. We were . . .
  slaves of sin,
  the drudges of the world, and
  led captive by the Devil at his will. 

We were¬†diseased¬†‚ÄĒ as well as enslaved. We were¬†leprous¬†from head to foot. We had the¬†plague of the heart!¬†The whole head was sick, and the whole heart was faint.¬†

We were¬†imprisoned, as well as diseased. We were shut up in unbelief and sin. Our cell was cold and damp, dark and narrow ‚ÄĒ and our imprisonment was not merely for a few years ‚ÄĒ it was forever!¬†

We were dead, though still conscious, and to some things alive. Dead in trespasses and sins. 

In this state we were ‚ÄĒ and we loved it well. We neither desired, nor sought deliverance.¬†Left to ourselves¬†. . .
  we would have wandered on in darkness, until we had perished in our sins; 
  we would have continued the slaves of sin and Satan forever;
  our disease would have preyed upon our vitals to all eternity; 
  our prison walls would have enclosed us still; 
  we would have remained dead in sin, 
  we would have suffered all the pangs of damnation forever!

2. The deliverance which Jesus wrought for you. Jesus saved me!

He saved me from the roaring lion, who goes about seeking to devour me!

He saved me from my raging lusts, so that sin shall not have dominion over me!

He saved me from righteous wrath, and I, being justified by His blood, shall be saved from wrath through Him!

He saved me from¬†death, the ‘king of terrors,’ depriving the¬†monster¬†of his sting, and giving me the victory over him!

He has also saved me from the¬†flaming furnace of Hell¬†‚ÄĒ from that lake of fire, and those¬†floods of flame¬†in which the lost must welter forever!

See the cause of my happiness¬†‚ÄĒ¬†
I have a Savior! 

A Savior who is divine. 
A Savior who has ever loved me. 
A Savior who lived, labored, and died for me. 
A Savior who pleads for me before the throne of His Father. 
A Savior who is in His Father’s house, preparing a place for me.¬†
A Savior who will soon come and receive me to Himself, that so I may be forever with Him! Yes, I have a Savior ‚ÄĒ one who . . .
  watches over me, 
  walks through the wilderness with me, 
  and rejoices to do me good.

Reader, have you a Savior? 
Can you use these two precious words,¬†“My Savior”?¬†
Have you realized that you were lost? 
Have you fled to His cross? 
Have you fallen into His arms? 
Have you been cleansed by His blood, and clothed in His righteousness? 
Do you possess His Holy Spirit? 

Make sure work, O make sure work!
Eternity is just at hand!
Death is coming!
Judgment follows!
And then ‚ÄĒ an¬†eternity of happiness or woe!
Your eternal all depends on having Jesus for your Savior!
No one can save you but Jesus. 
No one can . . .
  support you in sickness,
  comfort you in death, or
¬† give you victory over the grave ‚ÄĒ but Jesus!

“How long will you love vanity?”

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How long will you love vanity?” Psalm 4:2

Vanity represents the light, changeable, carnal, and fading things of time. Upon these things, the natural heart is set; around them, the unsanctified affections gather. What a vanity it is to prefer . . . 
¬† human friendship ‚ÄĒ to divine friendship,¬†
¬† earthly riches ‚ÄĒ to Heavenly riches,¬†
¬† carnal honors ‚ÄĒ to spiritual honors, and¬†
¬† the pleasures of a day ‚ÄĒ to the joys of eternity!

Vanity appears in the intoxicating cup, the mirthful and costly attire, and trifling with God. Surely every worldly man walks in a vain show, like an¬†actor¬†on the stage ‚ÄĒ and displays the most consummate folly!¬†

Reader! are you in love with vanity? Do you love that which leads from God, keeps Him out of the thoughts, and binds you down to earth? This is vanity! How long will you love it? You have been doing so for years ‚ÄĒ though warned, convinced, and having promised to reform. You are doing so now, though . . .
   mortality is at work within you,   
   death is very near you, 
   Hell is open before you, and 
   eternity is within a step of you!

You love vanity, when you may . . .
   obtain divine mercy, 
   enjoy peace with God, 
   receive sanctifying grace, and 
   walk in the way to Heaven. 

“How long will you love vanity?”¬†Until . . .¬†
   some sudden stroke takes you away; 
   or some affliction puts you beyond the reach of mercy;
¬†¬† or God’s Spirit ceases to strive with you;¬†
   or Satan fills your heart as he did the heart of Judas; 
   or God laughs at your calamity? 

How long? God your Creator would ask you.¬†“Why will you die?”¬†

Will you carefully consider this question, and give the Lord an answer? Will you tell Him why you prefer . . .
¬†¬† eternal death ‚ÄĒ to eternal life,¬†
¬†¬† sin ‚ÄĒ to holiness, and¬†
¬†¬† Satan ‚ÄĒ to Himself?

“They who observe lying vanities, forsake their own mercy!” Jonah 2:8

If you dare!

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If you dare!

(Samuel Davies, “The Universal Judgment!“)

“Then I saw¬†a great white throne‚ÄĒand HIM who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from His presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened¬† . . . If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life‚ÄĒhe was thrown into the lake of fire!” Revelation 20:11, 12, 15

What an astonishing scene is this! The stable earth and sky cannot bear the majesty and terror of His look; they fly away affrighted! This is the Judge before whom we must stand; and this is the manner of His appearance!

But is this the¬†babe of Bethlehem‚ÄĒwho lay and wept in the manger?¬†

Is this the supposed son of the carpenter, the despised Galilean? 

Is this the man of sorrows? 

Is this He who was . . .
  arrested, 
  condemned, 
  buffeted, 
  spit upon,  
  crowned with thorns, 
  executed as a slave and a criminal, upon the cross? 

Yes, it is Him! The very same Jesus of Nazareth! 

But oh how changed! How deservedly exalted! Heaven and earth flee before Him! 

Now let his enemies appear and show their contempt and malignity!

Now,¬†Pilate‚ÄĒcondemn the King of the Jews as a usurper!

Now, you¬†Jews, raise the clamor,¬†“Crucify Him, crucify Him!”¬†Now bow the knee in scorn, spit in His face, and buffet Him! Now tell the¬†scourged impostor¬†that He must die!

Now despise His grace, 
now laugh at His threatenings, and 
now make light of His displeasure‚ÄĒif you dare!

Ah! now their courage fails, and terror surrounds them! Now they try to hide in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. Now they call to the mountains and the rocks, “Fall on us and hide us from the face of Him who sits on the throne and from¬†the wrath of the Lamb!¬†For the great day of their wrath has come, and who can stand?”

But, alas! That LAMB who once bled as a sacrifice for sin‚ÄĒnow appears in all the terrors of a LION! Oh! could they hide themselves in the bottom of the ocean, or in some rock that bears the weight of the mountains‚ÄĒhow happy would they think themselves!

You are walking in the midst of snares and traps!

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You are walking in the midst of snares and traps!

(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Morning Visit”)

“Be very careful, then, how you walk!”¬†Ephesians 5:15

To honor Jesus in your thoughts, words, and every action‚ÄĒshould be your constant aim.

You are in an enemy’s land; surrounded by temptations; and have a heart that is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked!¬†

This present world is not your home!¬†Satan’s family¬†are not to be your intimate friends. Riches, honors, or pleasure‚ÄĒare not to be your objects of pursuit.¬†You are walking in the midst of snares and traps!¬†Be watchful, prayerful, depending upon Jesus, and cultivating fellowship with Him.

O keep your eye on Jesus, as your example! Walk by His Word‚ÄĒas your rule. Do not be venturesome or presumptuous, but avoid the very appearance of evil. Never leave the Lord’s ways‚ÄĒto join the world’s vanities or to please a carnal lust. Keep close to Jesus‚ÄĒand follow on to know the Lord.¬†

Walk as a beloved child, who going home to his loving Father’s house!¬†“Be very careful, then, how you walk!”

Carry all your concerns to Him‚ÄĒin the arms of faith!

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Carry all your concerns to Him‚ÄĒin the¬†arms of faith!

(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Morning Visit”)

“Casting all your care upon Him‚ÄĒbecause¬†He cares for you!” 1 Peter 5:7

The Lord¬†knows¬†all His people‚ÄĒall their needs, and all their trials.

He¬†thinks¬†upon them‚ÄĒto bless, deliver and supply them.¬†

He keeps His¬†eye¬†upon them‚ÄĒin all places, at all times, and under all circumstances.

He has them in His¬†hand‚ÄĒand will not loosen His hold.

He looks upon them always as His own ‘treasured possession’ . . .
  the objects of His eternal love,
¬† the purchase of His Son’s blood,
  the temples of His Holy Spirit.

They are precious in His sight! 

He knows they are¬†weak¬†and¬†fearful‚ÄĒand that they have many¬†enemies. He teaches them to cast themselves and all their cares into His hands! And He has given them His promise‚ÄĒthat He¬†will¬†care for them.

It is a¬†Father’s care¬†which He exercises. It is a wise, holy, tender, and constant care. Therefore all will be well with you‚ÄĒonly trust Him.

Believe that He cares for you this day.¬†Carry all your concerns to Him‚ÄĒin the¬†arms of faith!¬†Leave¬†all¬†with Him, persuaded that He will manage all by His infinite wisdom, and bring all to a good outcome by His omnipotent power.

Cast all your cares upon Him‚ÄĒas fast as they come in.¬†

Do not worry about anything. 

“Cast your burden on the Lord, and He will support you! He will never allow the righteous to be shaken!” Psalm 55:22

Should it be according to your mind?

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Should it be according to your mind?

(James Smith, “Important Questions!” 1858)

Should it be according to¬†your¬†mind?” Job 34:33

We are prone to be fretful, to complain of the dispensations of Divine Providence, and to reflect harshly upon the Lord’s dealings with us.

We want our own way.

We wish to carve for ourselves.

We would be treated as God’s favorites.

We want our ease, and prosperity, and pleasure, consulted in all things. And if this does not appear to be done ‚ÄĒ if our¬†wills¬†are crossed, if our¬†schemes¬†are frustrated, if our¬†purposes¬†are broken off ‚ÄĒ then we stumble, think ourselves badly treated, and look for everybody to sympathize with us.

Under these circumstances, God comes to us ‚ÄĒ as we sit among our broken cisterns, surrounded by our dethroned idols ‚ÄĒ and puts this question to us: “Should it be according to¬†your¬†mind?”

Are you wiser than God?

Are you kinder than God?

Are you holier than God?

Are you more just than God?

Are you better informed than God?

May not your mind be dark, or selfish, or foolish?

Should it then be according to your mind?

Should you¬†reign¬†‚ÄĒ or God?

Remember that God acts in the highest wisdom; His motives are grace and justice; and all His purposes are worthy of Himself.

The least the Christian can do is to submit ‚ÄĒ and to prefer God’s wisdom, way, and work ‚ÄĒ to his own. Seeing God has so arranged all events, that all things must work together for the good of His people ‚ÄĒ they, at least, should daily say, “Father, may¬†Your¬†will be done!”

O my soul, seek grace from God, not only to submit and be resigned to the dispensations of Divine Providence ‚ÄĒ but to¬†acquiesce¬†in them, and be¬†pleased¬†with the whole of them! Your good is consulted ‚ÄĒ your best interests are secured; and soon, very soon, it will be seen that infinite wisdom and mercy, grace and goodness, have marked out¬†every step¬†of your road!

“Jesus replied: You do not understand what I am¬†now¬†doing ‚ÄĒ but someday you will.” John 13:7

Your conscience will not always sleep!

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Your conscience will not always sleep! 

(Samuel Davies, “Divine Mercy to Mourning Penitents“)

“They show that the requirements of the law are written on their hearts, their¬†consciences¬†also bearing witness, and their thoughts now accusing, now even defending them.” Romans 2:15

The principal means which God uses in conversion, is that of conscience; and indeed without this, all the rest are in vain. Outward afflictions are of service‚ÄĒonly as they tend to awaken the conscience from its lethargy to a faithful discharge of its duty. It is conscience which makes the sinner sensible of his misery and scourges him. The¬†lashes of a guilty conscience¬†are intolerable; and some under them have chosen strangling and suicide, rather than life.

Conscience is a serpent in his breast, which bites and gnaws his heart; and he can no more avoid it, than he can fly from himself! 

Let not such of you as have never been tortured with its remorse, congratulate yourselves upon your happiness, for you are not innocents! Your conscience will not always sleep! It will not always lie torpid and inactive, like a snake benumbed with cold, in your breast! 

It will¬†awaken¬†you either to your conversion‚ÄĒor condemnation!

Either the fire of God’s wrath flaming from His law will enliven it in this world‚ÄĒto sting you with¬†medicinal¬†anguish; or the unquenchable fire of His vengeance in the lake of fire and brimstone will thaw it into life‚ÄĒand then it will horribly rage in your breast, and diffuse its tormenting poison through your whole frame! And then it will become a¬†never-dying worm, and prey upon your hearts forever!

Who is this amazing spectacle of woe and torture?

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Who is this amazing spectacle of woe and torture?

(Samuel Davies, “The Preaching of Christ Crucified, the Means of Salvation”)

“Christ died for the ungodly!” Romans 5:6

In¬†the cross of Christ‚ÄĒGod’s hatred to sin¬†is manifested in the most striking light! The evil of sin is exposed in the most dreadful colors! Now it appears, that such is the divine hatred against all sin, that God can by no means forgive sin, without punishment; and that all the infinite benevolence of His nature towards His creatures cannot prevail upon Him to pardon the least sin‚ÄĒwithout an adequate satisfaction.

Nay, now it appears that when so malignant and abominable a thing is but imputed to His dear Son, His co-equal, His darling, His favorite‚ÄĒthat even He could not escape unpunished‚ÄĒbut was made a¬†monument of vindictive justice, to all worlds!¬†

What can more strongly expose the evil of sin
‚ÄĒthan the cross of Christ?¬†
Sin is such an intolerably malignant and abominable thing, that even a God of infinite mercy and grace‚ÄĒcannot let the least instance of it pass unpunished!

It was not a small thing that could arm God’s justice against the Son of His love. Though He was perfectly innocent in Himself‚ÄĒyet when He was made sin for us‚ÄĒGod spared not His own Son‚ÄĒbut delivered Him up unto death‚ÄĒthe shameful, tormenting, and accursed death of the cross!

Go, you fools, who make a mock at sin! Go and learn its malignity and demerit‚ÄĒat the cross of Jesus!¬†

WHO is it that hangs there writhing in the agonies of death
‚ÄĒHis hands and feet pierced with nails, His side with a spear, His face bruised with blows, and drenched with tears and blood, His heart melting like wax, His whole frame racked and disjointed; forsaken by His friends, and even by His Father; tempted by devils, and insulted by men?¬†Who is this amazing spectacle of woe and torture?¬†It is Jesus, the eternal Word of God; His Elect, in whom His soul delights; His beloved Son, in whom He is well pleased!

And WHAT has He done?¬†He did no wickedness; He knew no sin‚ÄĒbut was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners. And WHY then, all these dreadful sufferings from heaven, earth, and hell? Why, He only stood in the law-place of sinners; He only received their sin by imputation. And you see what it has brought upon Him! You see how low it has reduced Him! What a horrid evil must that be‚ÄĒwhich has such tremendous consequences, even upon the Darling of heaven!

Oh! what still more dreadful havoc would SIN have made, if it had been punished upon the sinner himself in his own person! Surely all the various miseries which have been inflicted upon our guilty world in all ages, and even all the punishments of hell‚ÄĒdo not so loudly proclaim the terrible desert and malignity of sin‚ÄĒas the cross of Christ!

The infinite malignity of sin, and God’s hatred to it, appear nowhere in so striking and dreadful a light‚ÄĒas in the cross of Christ! Let a reasonable creature take but one serious view of that cross, and surely he must ever after tremble at the thought of the least sin!¬†

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

The unsearchable riches of Christ!

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The unsearchable riches of Christ!

(Samuel Davies)

The unsearchable riches of Christ!” Ephesians 3:8

Consider what rich blessings Christ has purchased for His people; purchased not with corruptible things such as silver and gold‚ÄĒbut with His own precious blood! The¬†purchase price¬†recommends and endears the blessings, though they are so great in themselves, as to need no such recommendation! What can be greater or more suitable blessings to hell-bound sinners, than . . .
  pardon for the guilty,
  redemption for slaves,
  righteousness and justification for the condemned,
  sanctification for the unholy,
  rest for the weary,
  comfort for mourners,
  the favor of God for rebels and exiles,
  strength for the impotent,
  protection for the helpless, and 
  everlasting happiness for the heirs of hell! 
And, to sum up all‚ÄĒgrace¬†and¬†glory, and¬†every good thing, and¬†all the unsearchable riches of Christ‚ÄĒfor the wretched and miserable; for the poor, the blind, and naked!

These are blessings indeed, and, in comparison with them‚ÄĒall the riches of the world are impoverished, and vanish to nothing!

He cannot love you more!

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He cannot love you more!

(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Morning Visit”)

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:6

The Lord cares for His children!
 
He knows our¬†needs‚ÄĒand has promised to supply them.¬†
He knows our¬†foes‚ÄĒand will deliver us from them.¬†
He knows our¬†fears‚ÄĒand will make us ashamed of them.¬†

All creatures and things are in His hand, and at His disposal; all circumstances are under His absolute control. He . . . 
  directs the angel,
  feeds the sparrow,
  curbs the devil, and
  manages the tempest! 

He is your Father‚ÄĒand His love to you is infinite. You are His delight‚ÄĒHis dear child. Will He neglect you? Impossible! Cast then your cares upon Him. Tell out all your desires, fears, and troubles to Him; let Him know everything; keep nothing back. And then in the confidence of faith, expect Him to fulfill His Word, and act a Parent’s part.

Bless Him for all He has given, for all He has promised. Plead with Him for all you may need. But never for one moment, or under any circumstances, distrust Him! He cannot love you more! He is your ever present help. He will rejoice over you to do you good, with His whole heart, and with His whole soul.

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

True beauty is not of the face–but of the soul!

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True beauty is not of the face–but of the soul!

(Mabel Hale, “Beautiful Girlhood” 1922)

“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman who fears the LORD shall be praised!” Proverbs 31:30¬†

Every girl is a lover of beauty.¬†Beautiful homes, beautiful furnishings, beautiful flowers, beautiful clothes, beautiful faces–anything wherein beauty is found, there will be found girls to admire it. From the time her little hands can reach up, and her baby lips can lisp the words, she is admiring “pretty things.” And when a little of that beauty is her own–her pleasure is unbounded.

Every girl longs to be beautiful.
¬†There is in woman a nature, as deep as humanity, which compels her to strive for good looks. There is no more forlorn sorrow for a young girl, than for her to be convinced that¬†she is hopelessly ugly and undesirable. Oh, the bitter tears that have been shed over¬†freckles, or¬†blemishedskin–and the energy that has been expended in¬†painting¬†and¬†powdering¬†and¬†waving¬†and¬†curling¬†herself into beauty!

A desire to be beautiful is not unwomanly. But, mark it:¬†true beauty is not of the face–but of the soul!¬†There is a beauty so¬†deep¬†and¬†lasting, that it will shine out of the homeliest face and make it lovely! This is the beauty to be first sought and admired. It is a quality of the¬†mind¬†and¬†heart–and is manifested in¬†word¬†and¬†deed.¬†

A happy heart, 
a smiling face, 
loving words and deeds, and 
a desire to be of service–
will make any girl beautiful!

A beautiful soul shining out of a homely face–is far more attractive than a beautiful face out of which looks a soul full of selfishness and pride!

Let your chief¬†charm¬†be of heart and mind–not of face and form.¬†
Seek the true beauty which lasts even into old age!

Solomon, in one of his wise sayings, plainly expressed the evil that comes to a woman who is beautiful of face, but lacks the true beauty of soul: “Like¬†a gold ring in a swine’s snout–is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion!” Proverbs 11:22. As the swine would plunge the golden jewel into the filth and the mire as he dug in the dirt–so will a pretty woman who is not godly, drag her beauty down to the very lowest.¬†

There are many peculiar temptations to those who are¬†only¬†lovely of face.¬†Without true beauty of soul–a pretty face is a dangerous gift!

Your beauty¬†should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight!” 1 Peter 3:3-4

As long as preachers allow their sermons to be dictated by public sentiment or the worldly desires of their hearers!

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As long as preachers allow their sermons to be dictated by public sentiment or the worldly desires of their hearers!

(Charles Naylor)

“They are not of the world, even as I am not of it.” John 17:16¬†

“As Christ is, so are we in this world” 1 John 4:17

A Christian is one who is Christlike in character, in desire, and in deportment. No other has any right to bear Christ’s name. Yet there are a multitude of people who call themselves Christians, who bear no resemblance to Christ in their lives.¬†

One of the most pitiable things that we can behold, is one who professes to be a citizen of the kingdom of God–and yet lives like a citizen of the kingdom of Satan. The¬†worldly professor¬†fills his days with folly–but his cup of joy is always bitter at the last. He gathers up the “fool’s gold” that glitters in earthly things. He lives after the flesh and after the world. He goes with the crowd. He misses all the blessedness of righteousness, and, worst of all, he misses Heaven at the last. “You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” James 4:4

Those who still love the pride and vanity of the world, those who are absorbed in its frivolities, those who covet its gold and its honors, those who love its applause–these are those who are of the world.¬†

Those hypocritical professors who bear Christ’s name, but will not obey Him–dishonor Him, and by their example influence others to do the same, how shall they escape the damnation of Hell? If there is one thing that God hates above all else, it is a proud and worldly heart! Such a heart can never be a reverential heart. Its religion is but hypocrisy. It is only a sham. It has no reality. It is only a cloak of respectability, while the heart is full of corruption.

The Christian life is, and ever will be, a life of separation from sin and pride and worldliness. If you are not willing to be thus separated, then you should have common honesty enough not to profess to be what you very well know that you are not. If you are going to be a Christian in name, then be one in reality.

Your¬†character, not your¬†profession, will be what will matter in the final judgment. “God will give to each person according to what he has done. To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor and immortality–He will give eternal life. But for those who are self-seeking and who reject the truth and follow evil–there will be wrath and anger.” Romans 2:6-8

If all preachers had honesty enough and courage enough to preach the truth–then the tide of worldliness that is overwhelming such a multitude of souls and sweeping them into perdition, would be somewhat stayed.¬†As long as preachers allow their sermons to be dictated by public sentiment or the worldly desires of their hearers–they will cater to fashions, and souls by the million will drift on into Hell. Oh, what a reaping such preachers will have at the judgment! The full measure of God’s wrath will fall on those preachers who fail to be true to souls and to God, in preaching those truths the Bible clearly teaches against sin and worldliness.¬†

A lamp for my feet

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A lamp for my feet

(Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity“)

“Teach me Your ways, O Lord, that I may
¬†live¬†according to Your truth!” Psalm 86:11


Let us lead Scripture lives. Oh that the Bible might 
be seen printed in our lives! Obedience is an excellent 
way of commenting upon the Bible. Let the Word be 
the sun-dial by which you set your life. What are we 
the better for having the Scripture, if we do not direct 
all our speech and actions according to it? What is a 
carpenter the better for his rule about him, if he sticks 
it at his back, and never makes use of it for measuring 
and squaring his work? So, what are we the better for 
the rule of the Word, if we do not make use of it, and 
regulate our lives by it? How many swerve and deviate 
from the rule! 

“Your Word is¬†a lamp for my feet¬†and a light for my¬†
path.” Psalm 119:105. It is not only a light to our eyes¬†
to mend our sight‚ÄĒbut to our feet to mend our walk.¬†
Oh, let us lead Bible lives!

Indelible impressions!

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Indelible impressions!

(William Bacon Stevens, “Parental Responsibility“)

We aid and abet the spiritual death of our children, by our irreligious example ‚ÄĒ both in doing that which is positively wrong, and in neglecting to do what is as positively required. As young as our child is ‚ÄĒ it has learned to join together¬†precept¬†and¬†practice. And if we are professors of religion, our child has put along side of this profession ‚ÄĒ our daily walk and conversation, and is perpetually drawing inferences from the one to the other, either for, or against, the truth which we profess.

Uncurbed tempers, ill-governed passions;
unbridled tongues, uncharitable words;
lack of meekness, and gentleness, and truth; 
lack of sobriety of mind, and kindliness of heart; 
the absence of that strict conscientiousness which should mark all our actions;
neglect of the Bible and of prayer; 
disregard of the means of grace;
irrepressible worldliness, in ever dwelling upon¬†“What shall we eat, and what shall we drink, and with what shall we be clothed?”
¬†‚ÄĒ are leaving¬†indelible impressions¬†upon the minds of our offspring! So that,¬†copying our habits of thought, speech, and action¬†‚ÄĒ our child’s¬†character¬†in its essential characteristics, may be formed for eternity; before its mind is able to receive the¬†precepts¬†which perhaps we occasionally teach.

Like a concealed worm at the root of a flower

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Like a concealed worm at the root of a flower

(John Angell James)

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

Carnal, careless, and covetous

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Carnal, careless, and covetous

One must judge of his own state by the fruit he bears.
When our fruit is unto holiness, we know that the end
shall be everlasting life. Everyone who hopes that he is
converted to God, should examine himself and prove his
own fruit. In judging of piety, there is no substitute for
a holy life. We are Christ’s disciples‚ÄĒif we do whatever
He commands us. We are the servants of the wicked
one‚ÄĒif we do the works of the flesh. We may boast of
discoveries, of raptures, and ecstasies‚ÄĒbut all is in vain
if a consistent life is not the result. A godly life is the
infallible evidence of conversion.

Many professors of religion are carnal, careless, 
and covetous
. In them no change of life appears 
to prove a change of heart. They are much like their 
worldly neighbors, except that they attend church. 
They are spots and blemishes in Christian feasts. 
They are a grief and a shame to godly people. The 
church has their names, but the world has their 
hearts. The number of such is painfully large.

Our thorn!

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Our thorn!

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

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

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

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

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

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

The time has come for my departure!

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The time has come for my departure!

(James Smith, “The Better Land”)

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

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

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

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

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

He will sustain you!

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He will sustain you!

(J.R. Miller)

“Cast your burden upon the Lord ‚ÄĒ and¬†He will¬†sustain¬†you.” Psalm 55:22

The promise is not that the Lord will¬†remove¬†the load we cast upon Him, nor that He will¬†carry¬†it for us ‚ÄĒ but that He will¬†sustain¬†us so that¬†we¬†may carry it.
He does not¬†free¬†us from the duty ‚ÄĒ but He¬†strengthens¬†us for it.
He does not¬†deliver¬†us from the conflict ‚ÄĒ but He enables us to¬†overcome.¬†
He does not withhold or withdraw the trial from us ‚ÄĒ but He helps us in trial to be submissive and victorious, and makes it a blessing to us.¬†
He does not mitigate the hardness or severity of our circumstances, taking away the difficult elements, removing the thorns, making life¬†easy¬†for us ‚ÄĒ but He puts Divine grace into our hearts, so that we can live sweetly in all the hard, adverse circumstances.

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

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


The fruits and effects He produces

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The fruits and effects He produces

(J.C. Ryle, “The Holy Spirit“)

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

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

He shows the exceeding holiness of God. 

He teaches the exceeding corruption and infirmity of our nature. 

He strips us of our blind self-righteousness. 

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

He fills the heart with sorrow, contrition, and abhorrence for sin ‚ÄĒ as the abominable thing which God hates.¬†

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

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

Just as you know there is life in a tree by its sap, buds, leaves and fruits ‚ÄĒ just so you may know the Spirit to be in a man’s heart by the influence He exercises over his thoughts, affections, opinions, habits, and life. I lay this down broadly and unhesitatingly. I see it clearly marked out in our Lord Jesus Christ’s words, “Every tree is known by his own fruit.” Luke 6:44


Desiring God!

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Desiring God!

(Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer”)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Father knows best!

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Father knows best!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away ‚ÄĒ may the name of the LORD be praised!” Job 1:21

“Shall we accept good from God ‚ÄĒ and not trouble?” Job 2:10¬†
 

Let the Lord do as He wills to us! He will never be unkind to us! He has always been our friend ‚ÄĒ He will never be our foe!¬†

He will never put us into the¬†furnace¬†‚ÄĒ unless He means to purge the¬†dross¬†out of us. Nor will there be one degree more heat in that furnace than is absolutely necessary ‚ÄĒ there will always be¬†mercy¬†to balance the¬†misery¬†‚ÄĒ and strength supplied to support the burden to be borne.
 

Oh, children of God, your¬†Father knows best!¬†Leave everything in His hands and be at peace ‚ÄĒ for all is well.
 

“I was silent; I would not open my mouth ‚ÄĒ for You are the one who has done this!” Psalm 39:9¬†
 

“He is the LORD; let him do what is good in His eyes!” 1 Samuel 3:18¬†

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,¬†and there are no grapes on the vines;¬†even though the olive crop fails,¬†and the fields lie empty and barren;¬†even though the flocks die in the fields,¬†and the cattle barns are empty¬†‚ÄĒ yet I will rejoice in the¬†LORD!¬†I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!” Habakkuk 3:17-18¬†

This city was a moral cesspool, a sink of pollution, filled with all corruption, and reeking with vileness!

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This city was a moral cesspool, a sink of pollution, filled with all corruption, and reeking with vileness!

(Charles Naylor, “In Christ, and in Ephesus” 1920)

To the¬†saints¬†in Ephesus ‚ÄĒ the¬†faithful¬†in Christ Jesus”¬†Ephesians 1:1¬†

Ephesus was one of the great centers of paganism. It was adorned with costly and magnificent heathen temples. It was rich and voluptuous. Both private and public life were utterly corrupt. Even the religious practices of the Ephesians were unspeakably vile.¬†This city was a moral cesspool, a sink of pollution, filled with all corruption, and reeking with vileness!¬†It was a second Sodom. Vice stalked abroad everywhere ‚ÄĒ and was honored and worshiped.

We might therefore well say, “Can any good thing come out of Ephesus? Can Christianity flourish in such surroundings?”¬†

Yes! There were¬†saints¬†in Ephesus ‚ÄĒ and¬†faithful¬†ones, too. They were such in their lives and characters as to win the commendation of that great apostle to the Gentiles. Out of that obnoxious cesspool of iniquity, were growing the pure white lilies of Christian character! That is the glory of Christianity and of Christ. Those who were now Christians were not superior to the other Ephesians ‚ÄĒ they were not by nature different. In fact, Paul tells them that they had been the children of wrath, even as the others ‚ÄĒ and that they had been such by nature. What a triumph of divine grace, which raised these people up out of such unspeakable filth ‚ÄĒ and made them¬†faithful saints!¬†And yet that is the power of our great Christ!

“For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.” Ephesians 5:8


This is too much!

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This is too much!

(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

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

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

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

Who are you, O man, to talk back to God?

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Who are you, O man, to talk back to God?

(Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity“)

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I
 will have compassion on whom I have compassion.
¬†It does not, therefore, depend on man’s desire or
¬†effort, but on God’s mercy.” Romans 9:15-16

God has a sovereign right and authority over man. 
He can do with His creatures as He pleases. Who shall 
dispute with God? Who shall ask Him a reason of His 
doings? “Who are you, O man, to talk back to¬†
God?
 Shall what is formed say to him who formed 
it‚ÄĒWhy did you make me like this?” Romans 9:20

“Our God is in heaven and does whatever He pleases.”
 Psalm 115:3 

“The Lord does whatever He pleases in heaven and
¬†on earth, in the seas and all the depths.” Psalm 135:6

God sits as judge in the highest court, and is not bound 
to give a reason for His proceedings. “He puts down one,¬†
and raises up another.” He has¬†salvation¬†and¬†damnation¬†
in His power. He has the key of justice in His hand, to 
lock up whomever he will, in the fiery prison of hell! And 
He has the¬†key of mercy¬†in His hand, to open heaven’s¬†
gate to whomever He pleases! The name engraved upon 
His vesture is, “King of kings, and Lord of lords!” He sits¬†
Lord paramount, and who can call Him to account? The 
world is¬†God’s house, and shall not He do what He
desires in His own house? 

“My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please!”
     Isaiah 46:10

“Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns!”
     Revelation 19:6

A sleeping lion

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A sleeping lion

(Thomas Watson, “Body of Divinity“)

“Why does the way of the wicked prosper? Why¬†
do the treacherous live at ease?” Jeremiah 12:1

Such as are highest in sin‚ÄĒare often highest in¬†
prosperity. This has led many to question God’s¬†
justice. Diogenes, seeing a thief live on affluently, 
said, “Surely God has cast off the government of¬†
the world, and does not care how things go on 
here below.”

How can it be consistent with¬†God’s justice,¬†
that the wicked should prosper in the world?

If God lets men prosper a while in their sin‚ÄĒHis¬†
vial of wrath is all this while filling; His sword is 
all this time sharpening. Though God may forbear 
with men a while‚ÄĒyet long forbearance is not
forgiveness. The longer God is in taking His blow, 
the heavier it will be at last! As long as there is 
eternity, God has time enough to reckon with 
His enemies!

God’s justice may be as¬†a sleeping lion‚ÄĒbut the¬†
lion will awake at last, and roar upon the sinner!

“Yes, Lord God Almighty, Your punishments are
¬†true and just.” Revelation 16:7

Sacrilege!

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Sacrilege! 
(by Octavius Winslow) 

Cultivate a profound reverence for God’s Word. Nothing is more grievous to the Holy Spirit than a trifling with revelation. The words of Scripture are divinely inspired. “Holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.”¬†

Beware of referring to it with levity. To adopt the words of Scripture irreverently, or to employ its phraseology flippantly, is to cast discredit upon inspiration, to press it into the service of the flesh, and to make the Word of God the jest book of the profane. This is awful trifling with the thoughts and words of the Holy Spirit! 

Stand in awe of this Holy Book! 

God says, “I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts, who tremble at My Word.” Isaiah 66:2¬†

“Then all who trembled at the Words of the God of Israel…” Ezra 9:4¬†

“We will follow the advice given by you and by the others who respect the commands of our God…” Ezra 10:3¬†

“My flesh trembles in fear of you; I stand in awe of Your laws.”¬†¬† Psalm 119:120¬†

“My heart stands in awe of Your Word.” Psalm 119:161¬†

(Editor’s note: How very sad is it that many professing Christians use the holy Word of God to amuse others with ‘bible jokes’ and in other trifling and irreverent ways. Much of today’s pseudo Christian music, movies and children’s literature use the Word of God in a flippant manner, if not in a downright profane and sacrilegious way.)¬†
  

The Preciousness of God’s Children

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The Preciousness of God’s Children¬†
(“The Preciousness of God’s Children” Octavius Winslow)¬†

Oh, how precious to Jesus is 
  your tear of godly sorrow; 
  your touch of trembling faith; 
  your look of lowly love; 
  your offering of sincere gratitude; 
  your yearning and longing of holy desire! 

So precious to Jesus are you, that 
  His ear is attentive to your faintest cry; 
  His thoughts are never withdrawn from you for a moment; 
  His hand is ever extended to support you. 

You are so precious to Jesus that 
  He sits at the fountain of grace to supply all your need; 
  He bows His shoulder to your heaviest burden; 
  He unveils His heart to your deepest sorrow. 

O believer, do not live without a deep, constant 
realization of your preciousness to Jesus; and 
the depth, tenderness, and constancy of the 
love He bears towards you.  Let your faith grasp 
it, amid the varied phases and changes of your 
Christian course, and it will be as a sweet flowing 
stream gliding and sparkling by your side all 
through the sandy desert, imparting swiftness 
to your feet in travel, strength to your hand in 
labor, nerve to your arm in battle; soothing, 
reviving, and refreshing your spirit when sad, 
faint, and drooping by the way. 

Be assured of your personal place in His 
affections, and your home and sanctuary in 
His heart, and no act of obedience, of love, 
or of service on your part, will be too costly. 

Your love to Him will be the reflection of His 
love to you, proportioned in its degree and 
intensity to the vividness with which His love 
is seen and realized. 

Reader, let your eye see His beauty! 

Bow your heart before His cross! 

Fall at His feet! 

Crown Him Lord and Sovereign of your soul! 

The religion of JOY

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

He was infinitely happy and glorious without us!

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He was infinitely happy and glorious without us! 

(James Smith, “The Pastor’s Evening Visit”)

“Christ, who loved us!”¬†Romans 8:37

No condition can possibly be more dreary‚ÄĒthan to feel that no one¬†loves¬†or¬†cares¬†for us!

There is something peculiarly sweet and pleasant‚ÄĒin being the¬†object of another’s love. Even the love of a¬†poor child¬†is sweet. But to be loved by one who is most wealthy, most exalted in station, and most honorable in character‚ÄĒmust be peculiarly delightful!

How, then, should we rejoice; how happy should we be‚ÄĒwho are¬†loved by the Lord Jesus!¬†Especially when we consider:¬†
on the one hand:
  how despicable,
  how poor,
  how worthless, and
  how unlovely WE are! 
And, on the other hand:
  how glorious,
  how wealthy,
  how worthy,
  how lovely JESUS is! 

To be¬†loved by Jesus‚ÄĒis to be preferred before the possession of a world!

Think of . . .
  the glory of His person,
  the vastness of His possessions,
  the number of His angelic attendants,
  the unlimited sovereignty which He exercises, 
  and the excellent character He bears!

Also bear in mind‚ÄĒthat¬†He knew what loving us would¬†cost¬†Him‚ÄĒhow He would be treated by us and by others‚ÄĒfor our sakes!¬†

Yet He fixed His love upon US! 

He loved US‚ÄĒjust because He would!

He passed by¬†others¬†more dignified in nature, more exalted in station‚ÄĒbut He chose US!

He did not, could not, NEED us‚ÄĒfor¬†He was infinitely happy and glorious without us!¬†

Yet He loved us! 

He still loves us!

Adultery Pollutes

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She is a common sewer!

(Thomas Watson, “The Ten Commandments.¬†

This selection is longer, but it is needful in¬†our immoral society. Though it particularly addresses¬†adultery, it easily applies to any kind of¬†immorality. This is the best article I have ever read, on how to deal with¬†lust. Every man struggles with lust‚ÄĒso please forward this on.)

“You shall not commit adultery.”¬†
Exodus 20:14

This commandment is set up as a hedge to keep out impurity; and those who break this hedge‚ÄĒa serpent shall bite them! The¬†fountain¬†of this sin is lust. God is a pure, holy being, and has an infinite antipathy against all impurity. We must take heed of running on the¬†rock of impurity, and so¬†making shipwreck of our chastity. The meaning of the commandment is not only that we should not stain our¬†bodies¬†with immorality‚ÄĒbut that we should keep our¬†souls¬†pure. To have a chaste body‚ÄĒbut an unclean soul, is like a beautiful face with a cancerous heart. “Be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:16.

There is a¬†mental¬†adultery. “Whoever¬†looks¬†on a woman to lust after her, has committed adultery with her already in his¬†heart.” Matthew 5:28. As a man may die of an inward bleeding‚ÄĒso he may be damned for the inward boilings of lust, if it is not mortified. That I may deter you from the sin of adultery, let me show you¬†the great evil¬†of it.

(1) Adultery is a thievish sin. It is the highest sort of theft. The adulterer steals from his neighbor, that which is more than his goods and estate; he steals away his wife from him!

(2) Adultery debases a person.¬†It makes him resemble the beasts; therefore the adulterer is described like a horse¬†neighing. “Everyone¬†neighed¬†after his neighbor’s wife.” Jeremiah 5:8. It is worse than brutish; for some creatures which are void of reason‚ÄĒyet by the instinct of nature, observe some decorum and chastity. The¬†turtle-dove¬†is a chaste creature, and keeps to its mate. And the¬†stork, wherever he flies, comes into no nest but his own. Naturalists write that if a stork, leaving his own mate, joins with any other, all the rest of the storks fall upon it, and pull its feathers from it. Adultery is¬†worse than brutish, it degrades a person of his honor.

(3) Adultery pollutes.¬†The devil is called an¬†unclean¬†spirit. Luke 11:24. The¬†adulterer¬†is the devil’s first-born; he is unclean; he is a moving quagmire. He is all over ulcerated with sin; his¬†eyes¬†sparkle with lust; his¬†mouth¬†foams out filth; his¬†heart¬†burns like mount Etna, in unclean desires.¬†He is so filthy,¬†that if he dies in this sin, all the flames of hell will never purge away his immorality! And, as for the¬†adulteress,¬†who can paint her black enough? The Scripture calls her a¬†deep ditch.¬†Proverbs 23:27.¬†She is a common sewer!¬†The¬†body¬†of a harlot is a walking dung-hill, and her¬†soul¬†a lesser hell!

(4) Adultery is destructive to the body.
¬†“Afterward you will groan in anguish when disease consumes your body.” Proverbs 5:11. Immorality turns the body into a hospital, it brings foul diseases, and eats the beauty of the face. As the flame wastes the candle, so the¬†fire of lust¬†consumes the body. The adulterer hastens his own death. “So she seduced him with her pretty speech. With her flattery she enticed him. He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter or like a trapped stag, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life!” Proverbs 7:21-23.¬†

(5.) Adultery is a drain upon the purse; it wastes not the body only‚ÄĒbut the estate.
¬†“Keeping you from the immoral woman, from the smooth tongue of the wayward wife. Do not lust in your heart after her beauty or let her captivate you with her eyes, for the prostitute¬†reduces you to a loaf of bread, and the adulteress preys upon your very life!” Proverbs 6:24-26. Whores are the devil’s horse-leeches, sponges that suck in money. The prodigal son spent his inheritance, when he fell among harlots. Luke 15:30. The concubine of King Edward III, when he was dying, got all she could from him, and even plucked the rings off his fingers.

(6) Adultery destroys reputation.
¬†“But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys his own soul. Wounds and constant¬†disgrace¬†are his lot. His¬†shame¬†will never be erased!” Proverbs 6:32, 33.¬†Wounds of reputation‚ÄĒno physician can heal. When the adulterer dies, his shame lives. When his body rots underground, his name rots above ground. His¬†bastard children¬†are living monuments of his shame.

(7) Adultery impairs the mind. 
It steals away the understanding; it stupefies the heart. “Whoredom and wine take away the heart.” Hosea 4:11. It eats all purity out of the heart. Solomon besotted himself with women, and they enticed him to idolatry.

(8) Adultery incurs temporal judgments.
¬†The Mosaic law made the penalty for adultery, to be¬†death. “The adulterer and adulteress shall surely be put to death;” and the usual death was¬†stoning. Lev 20:10; Deut. 22:24. The¬†Salons¬†commanded people guilty of this sin, to be burnt. The¬†Romans¬†caused their heads to be stricken off. Like a scorpion‚ÄĒthis sin carries a sting in its tail. “For jealousy arouses a husband’s fury, and he will show no mercy when he takes revenge!” Proverbs 6:34. The adulterer is often killed in the act of his sin. “Lust’s practice is to make a joyful¬†entrance‚ÄĒbut she¬†leaves¬†in misery.” I have read of two in London, who, having defiled themselves with adultery, were immediately struck dead with lightening from heaven. If all who are now guilty of this sin were to be punished in this manner, it would¬†rain fire¬†again, as on Sodom.

(9) Adultery, without repentance, damns the soul. 
“Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor homosexual offenders . . . will inherit the kingdom of God!” 1 Corinthians 6:9-10.¬†The fire of lust, brings to the fire of hell.¬†“God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral!” Hebrews 13:4. Though¬†men¬†may neglect to judge them‚ÄĒyet¬†God¬†will judge them! He will judge them assuredly; they shall not escape the hand of justice; and He will punish them severely. The¬†harlot’s breasts¬†keeps from¬†Abraham’s bosom!¬†“The¬†delight¬†lasts a moment‚ÄĒthe¬†torment¬†an eternity!” Who for a cup of pleasure‚ÄĒwould drink a sea of wrath! “Her guests are in the depths of hell.” Proverbs 9:18. The harlot is perfumed with powders, and lovely to look on‚ÄĒbut poisonous and damnable to the soul! “She has cast down many wounded, yes, many strong men have been slain by her.” Proverbs 7:26.

(10) The adulterer does all he can, to destroy the soul of another‚ÄĒand so kills two at once!
¬†He is worse than the thief; for, suppose a thief robs a man, yes, and also takes away his life‚ÄĒ the man’s¬†soul¬†may be happy; he may go to heaven as well as if he had died in his bed. But he who commits adultery, endangers the soul of another, and does all he can, to deprive her of salvation. What a fearful thing it is‚ÄĒto be an instrument to draw another to hell!

(11) The adulterer is abhorred of God.
¬†“The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit; he who is¬†abhorred¬†by the Lord, will fall into it.” Proverbs 22:14. What can be worse than to be¬†abhorred¬†by God? God may be¬†angry¬†with His own children; but for God to¬†abhor¬†a man‚ÄĒis the highest degree of hatred! The immoral person stands upon the threshold of hell; and when¬†death¬†gives him a push‚ÄĒhe tumbles in!

All this should sound a¬†warning¬†in our ears, and call us off from the pursuit of so damnable a sin as immorality. Hear what the Scriptures say: “Her house is the way to hell.” Proverbs 7:27.

I shall give some directions, by way of antidote, to keep from the infection of this sin.

(1) Do not come into the¬†company¬†of a whorish woman; avoid her house, as a seaman does a rock. “Run from her! Don’t go near the door of her house!” Proverbs 5:8. He who would not have the plague, must not come near infected houses; every whore-house has the plague in it. Not to avoid the¬†occasion¬†of sin, and yet pray, “Lead us not into temptation,” is, as if one should put his finger into the candle, and yet pray that it may not be burnt!

(2) Look to your¬†eyes. Much sin comes in by the eye. “Having eyes full of adultery.” 2 Pet 2:14. The¬†eye¬†tempts the¬†imagination, and the imagination works upon the¬†heart. A lustful amorous eye, may usher in sin. Eve first¬†saw¬†the tree of knowledge‚ÄĒand then she¬†took. Gen 3:6. First she¬†looked‚ÄĒand then she¬†loved. The¬†eye¬†often sets the¬†heart¬†on fire; therefore Job laid a law upon his eyes. “I made a covenant with my eyes‚ÄĒnot to look with lust upon a young woman.” Job 31:1.

(3) Look to your¬†lips. Take heed of any unclean word which may enkindle unclean thoughts in yourselves or others. “Evil communications corrupt good manners.” 1 Cor. 15:33. Impure discourse, is the bellows to blow up the fire of lust. Much evil is conveyed to the¬†heart¬†by the¬†tongue. “Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth!” Psalm 141:3.

(4) Look in a special manner to your¬†heart. “Guard your¬†heart¬†with all diligence.” Proverbs 4:23. Every person has a tempter in his own bosom! “Out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, adultery, all other sexual immorality.” Matthew 15:19.¬†Thinking¬†of sin, makes way for the¬†act¬†of sin. Suppress the first risings of sin in your heart. As the serpent, when danger is near‚ÄĒguards his¬†head, so keep your¬†heart, which is the spring from whence all lustful motions proceed.

(5) Look to your¬†attire. We read of the attire of a harlot. Proverbs 7:10. A wanton dress is a provocation to lust. A painted face, and half-naked breasts, are allurements to immorality. Where the¬†sign¬†is hung out‚ÄĒpeople will go in and¬†taste¬†the liquor. Jerome says, “those who by their lascivious attire endeavor to draw others to lust, though no evil follows‚ÄĒare tempters‚ÄĒand shall be punished, because they offered the¬†poison¬†to others, even though they would not drink.”

(6) Take heed of evil company. Sin is a very contagious disease; one person tempts another to sin, and hardens him in it. There are three cords which draw men to immorality: 
the inclination of the heart, 
the persuasion of evil company, and 
the embraces of the harlot. This¬†threefold cord¬†is not easily broken. “A fire was kindled in their company.” Psalm 106:18. The fire of lust is kindled in bad company.

(7) Beware of going to¬†theaters¬†and¬†plays. A play-house is often a preface to a whorehouse. “Plays furnish the seeds of wickedness.” We are bid to avoid all¬†appearance¬†of evil; and are not plays the appearance of evil? Such sights are there, which are not fit to be beheld with chaste eyes. A learned divine observes, that many have on their death-beds confessed, with tears, that the pollution of their bodies has been occasioned by going to plays.

(8) Take heed of lascivious books and pictures, which provoke to lust. As the reading of the Scripture stirs up love to God, so reading vile books stirs up the mind to wickedness. To lascivious books I may add lascivious pictures, which bewitch the eye, and are incendiaries to lust! They secretly convey poison to the heart. 

(9) Take heed of¬†excess¬†in diet. When gluttony and drunkenness lead the van, immorality and wantonness bring up the rear. “Wine inflames lust.” “Sodom’s sins were pride, laziness, and¬†gluttony.” Ezekiel 16:49. The¬†foulest¬†weeds grow out of the¬†fattest¬†soil. Immorality proceeds from excess. “When I had¬†fed¬†them to the full, everyone neighed after his neighbor’s wife.” Jer. 5:8. Get the “golden bridle of temperance.” God allows the¬†refreshment of nature, and what may fit us the better for his service; but beware of surfeit. Excess in temporal things‚ÄĒclouds the mind, chokes good affections, and provokes lust. “I discipline my body and bring it under strict control.” 1 Cor. 9:27. The¬†flesh pampered‚ÄĒis liable to immorality.

(10) Take heed of¬†idleness. When a man is idle, he is ready to receive any temptation. The devil sows most of his¬†seeds of temptation¬†in¬†fallow¬†ground. Idleness is the cause of sodomy and immorality. “Sodom’s sins were pride,¬†laziness, and gluttony.” Ezekiel 16:49. When David was idle on the top of his house, he espied Bathsheba, and committed adultery with her. 2 Samuel 11:4. Jerome gave his friend counsel to be always well employed in God’s vineyard, that when the devil came, he might have no leisure to listen to temptation.

(11) To avoid fornication and adultery, let every man have a chaste, entire¬†love to his own wife. Ezekiel’s wife was the desire of his eyes. Ezekiel 24:16. When Solomon had dissuaded from immoral women, he prescribed a remedy against it. “Rejoice¬†with the wife of your youth.” Proverbs 5:18. It is not¬†having¬†a wife‚ÄĒbut¬†loving¬†a wife‚ÄĒ which makes a man live chastely. He who loves his wife, whom Solomon calls his¬†fountain, will not go abroad to drink of¬†muddy, poisoned waters. Pure marital love is a gift of God, and comes from heaven; but, like the vestal fire, it must be nourished, so that it does not go out. He who does not love his wife, is the likeliest person to embrace the bosom of a harlot.

(12) Labor to get the¬†fear of God¬†into your hearts. “By the fear of the Lord, men depart from evil.” Proverbs 16:6. As the embankment keeps out the water, so the fear of the Lord keeps out immorality. Such as lack the fear of God, lack the¬†bridle¬†which should check them from sin! How did Joseph keep from his mistress’ temptation? The fear of God pulled him back! “How can I do this great wickedness, and sin against¬†God!”¬†Genesis 39:9. Bernard calls¬†holy fear, “the door-keeper of the soul.” As a nobleman’s porter stands at the door, and keeps out vagrants, so the fear of God stands and keeps out all sinful temptations from entering.

(13) Take delight in the¬†Word of God. “How sweet are your words unto my taste.” Psalm 119:103. Chrysostom compares God’s Word to a garden. If we walk in this garden, and suck sweetness from the¬†flowers of the promises, we shall never care to pluck the “forbidden fruit.” “Let the Scriptures be my pure pleasure,” says Augustine. The reason why people seek after unchaste, sinful pleasures‚ÄĒis because they have nothing better. Caesar riding through a city, and seeing the women play with¬†dogs¬†and¬†parrots, said, “Surely, they have no¬†children.” So those who sport with harlots, have no better pleasures. He who has once tasted¬†Christ in a promise, is ravished with delight; and he would¬† scorn a¬†temptation¬†to sin! Job said, that the Word was his “appointed food.” Job 23:12. No wonder then, that he made a “covenant with his eyes.”

(14) If you would abstain from adultery, use serious consideration.

¬†¬†¬† [1] Consider that God sees you in the act of sin! He sees all your¬†curtain¬†wickedness. He is¬†totus oculus‚ÄĒ“all eye.” The¬†clouds¬†are no canopy, the¬†night¬†is no curtain‚ÄĒto hide you from God’s eye! Whenever you sin‚ÄĒyour Judge looks on! “I have seen your detestable acts‚ÄĒyour adulteries and your neighings.” Jer. 13:27. “They have committed adultery with their neighbors’ wives. I know it and am a witness to it! declares the Lord.” Jer. 29:23.¬†

¬†¬†¬† [2] Consider that few who are entangled in the sin of adultery, ever recover from the snare. “None that go to her return again.” Proverbs 2:19. This made some of the ancients conclude that adultery was an unpardonable sin; but it is not so. David repented. Mary Magdalene was a weeping penitent; upon her amorous eyes which sparkled with lust, she sought to be revenged, by washing Christ’s feet with her tears!¬†Some, therefore have recovered from this snare. “None¬†that go to her return,” that is, “very few.” It is rare to hear of any who are enchanted and bewitched with the sin of immorality, who recover from it. “I find more bitter than death the woman who is a¬†snare, whose heart is a¬†trap¬†and whose hands are¬†chains. The man who pleases God will escape her, but the sinner she will ensnare.” Eccl. 7:26. Her “heart is a trap,” that is, she is subtle to deceive those who come to her; and “her hands are chains,” that is her embraces are powerful to hold and entangle her lovers. This consideration should make all fearful of this sin.¬†Soft pleasures, harden the heart.¬†

¬†¬†¬† [3] Consider what Scripture says, which may lay a barricade in the way to this sin. “I will be a swift witness against the adulterers.” Malachi 3:5. It is good when God is a witness “for¬†us”, when He witnesses to our sincerity, as He did to Job’s; but it is sad to have God as a “witness¬†against¬†us.” “I,” says God, “will be a swift witness against the adulterer.” And who shall disprove God’s witness? He is both¬†witness¬†and¬†judge!¬†“God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.” Hebrews 13:4.¬†

¬†¬†¬† [4] Consider the sad farewell, which the sin of adultery leaves. It leaves a hell in the conscience. “The lips of an immoral woman are as sweet as honey, and her mouth is smoother than oil. But the result is as bitter as poison, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to hell.” Proverbs 5:3-5. The¬†goddess Diana¬†was so artfully drawn, that she seemed to smile upon those who¬†came¬†into¬†her temple‚ÄĒbut frown on those who¬†went out. So the harlot¬†smiles¬†on her lovers as they¬†come¬†to her‚ÄĒbut at last, they come to the¬†frown¬†and the sting! “Until an arrow pierces his liver.” Proverbs 7:23. “Her end is bitter.”¬†

When a man has been virtuous, the¬†labor¬†is gone‚ÄĒbut the¬†comfort¬†remains; but when he has been wicked and immoral, the¬†pleasure¬†is gone‚ÄĒbut the¬†sting¬†remains. “He gains momentary pleasure‚ÄĒbut after that, eternal torment,” says Jerome. When the¬†senses¬†have been feasted with unchaste pleasures, the¬†soul¬†is left to pay the reckoning. Stolen waters are sweet; but, as poison, though sweet in the mouth, it torments the conscience.¬†Sin always ends in tragedy!¬†Sad is that which Fincelius reports of a priest in Flanders, who enticed a young girl to immorality. When she objected how vile a sin it was, he told her that by authority from the Pope, he could commit any sin; so at last he drew her to his wicked purpose. But when they had been together a while, in came the devil, and took away the harlot from the priest’s side, and, notwithstanding all her crying out, carried her away! If the devil should come and carry away all who are guilty of immorality in this nation‚ÄĒI fear more would be carried away, than would be left behind!

(16)¬†Pray¬†against this sin. Luther gave a lady this advice, that when any lust began to rise in her heart, she should go to prayer. Prayer is the best armor against sin; it quenches the¬†wild fire of lust.¬†If prayer will “cast out the devil,” it will certainly cast out those lusts which come from the devil.

O let us labor for soul purity!¬†To keep the soul pure‚ÄĒhave recourse to the blood of Christ, which is the “fountain open, to cleanse from sin and impurity.” Zech. 13:1. A soul¬†steeped¬†in the briny tears of repentance, and¬†bathed¬†in the blood of Christ‚ÄĒis made pure! Say, “Lord, my soul is defiled! I pollute all I touch! O purge me with hyssop‚ÄĒlet Christ’s blood sprinkle me, let the Holy Spirit anoint me. O make me pure, that I may be taken to heaven‚ÄĒwhere I shall be as¬†holy¬†as You would have me to be‚ÄĒand ashappy¬†as I can desire to be!”

The Delilah in the bosom!

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The Delilah in the bosom!

(Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer“)

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

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

How may this darling-sin be known?

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

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

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

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

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

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


The Trojan horse

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The Trojan horse

(Thomas Watson, “The Lord’s Prayer“)

“Deliver us from evil.” Matthew 6:13

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

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

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


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

It was Augustine’s prayer, “Lord, deliver me from¬†
that evil man‚ÄĒmyself!”

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

The Evil Consequences

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

Charles H Spurgeon


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