Tag Archives: Food 42day

Do you ask why He is angry?

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Do you ask why He is angry? 

I answer:

He is angry to see rational, immortal and accountable beings–spending twenty, forty, or sixty years in trifling and sin; serving numerous idols, lusts, and vanities, and living as if death were an eternal sleep!¬†

He is angry to see you forgetting your Maker in childhood, in youth, in manhood–and making no returns for all His benefits.

He is angry to see you casting off His fear and rebelling against Him–who has nourished and sustained you.¬†

He is angry to see you laying up treasures on earth–and not in Heaven.¬†

He is angry to see you seeking everything in preference to the one thing needful.

He is angry to see you loving the praise of men more than the praise of God; and fearing those who can only kill the body, more than Him who has power to cast both soul and body into Hell.

He is angry to see that you disregard alike His threatenings and His promises, His judgments and His mercies. 

He is angry that you bury in the earth the talents He has given you, and bring forth no fruit to His glory. 

He is angry that you neglect His Word and His Son, and perish in impenitency and unbelief.

These are sins of which every person, in an unconverted state, is guilty. And for these things God is angry–daily¬†angry,¬†greatlyand¬†justly¬†angry! And unless His anger is speedily appeased, it will most certainly prove your everlasting destruction!

Some professors of religion are like the catbird!

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Some professors of religion are like the catbird!

(Charles Naylor, “How to Fertilize Love” 1920)

There are very many things that may choke¬†out love in the home. One of these is the¬†lack of kindness. If you have grown less kind in your feelings, in your actions, and in your words–then love cannot thrive. Kindness is one of the best fertilizers for love.¬†

There are so many people who have two sets of¬†tones¬†in which to speak–and two sets of¬†manners¬†in which they act. They have their¬†company¬†manners–and their¬†family¬†manners. When they have company–then the voice is soft and pleasant, and the manners are agreeable and kindly. They treat their friends with the greatest consideration; but as soon as their friends are gone, the pleasant voice changes into crossness or harshness and fault-finding–and the pleasantness of manner disappears! In how many homes is this true!

The greater¬†consideration, the greater¬†kindness–is due the¬†home¬†folks. Otherwise, love cannot flourish. If you wish to have love for your home folks–then you must show them the¬†consideration¬†that is due them.

Some professors of religion are like the catbird!
¬†When it is away from its nest–then it is one of the sweetest of the northern warblers; but when it is close to its nest–then you will hear only a harsh, discordant note. It has no sweetness in its voice while at its nest.

In the same way, some people reserve all their kindness, tenderness, and sweetness–for those¬†outside¬†the family circle. Is it any wonder that love dies in such a home?¬†

“Love must be without hypocrisy.” Romans 12:9¬†

He will sustain you!

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He will sustain you!

(J.R. Miller)

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

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

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

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

Fly into the bosom of Christ for refuge and safety!

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Fly into the bosom of Christ for refuge and safety!

(J.R. Miller, “Intimate Letters on Personal Problems” 1914)

“Whoever¬†humbles¬†himself like this child, is the greatest in the kingdom of Heaven.” Matthew 18:4¬†

It is very sweet just to¬†nestle down in the bosom of Christ–to be¬†as a little child¬†with Him. Those who come otherwise do not get near to Him–but the¬†child-like¬†always find a close place in His heart. So the more like children we can be in our trust and in the simplicity of our faith, in humbleness of disposition, in willingness to do His will and to learn of Him–the nearer to Him shall we get, and the more shall we enjoy of His love.¬†

Some years ago, as I was passing along one of our streets one afternoon, I heard a fluttering of birds over my head and, looking up, saw a little bird flying wildly about in circles, chased by a hawk! The bird flew down lower and lower, and then darted into my bosom, under my coat. I cannot quite express to you, the feeling which filled my heart at that moment–that a little bird, chased by an enemy, had come to me for¬†refuge, trusting me in time of¬†danger. I laid my hand over the bird, which nestled as quietly and confidently under my coat, as a baby would in a mother’s bosom. I carried the little thing along for several blocks until I thought the way was clear of danger, and then let it out. It flew away into the air again, but showed no fear of me. Ever since that experience, I have understood better what it is to¬†fly into the bosom of Christ for refuge and safety¬†in time of danger, or in time of distress.¬†

All this helps me to understand better¬†what it means to Jesus¬†when we, hunted and chased by enemies, or suffering from weakness or pain–fly to Him and hide ourselves in His love.

That is all we need to do–just to creep into the bosom of Christ, and lie down there, with no fear, no anxiety, but with simple trust.

The lines of Wesley’s old hymn have meant more to me ever since:

“Jesus, lover of my soul,
 Let me to Thy bosom fly,
 While the nearer waters roll,
 While the tempest still is high.

 Hide me, O my Savior, hide,
 Till the storm of life is past;
 Safe into the haven guide;
 Oh, receive my soul at last.

 Other refuge have I none,
 Hangs my helpless soul on Thee;
 Leave, ah! leave me not alone,
 Still support and comfort me.

 All my trust on Thee is stayed,
 All my help from Thee I bring;
 Cover my defenseless head
¬†With the shadow of Thy wing.”

A clean path to Hell!

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A clean path to Hell!

(Charles Spurgeon)

Unbelief will destroy the best of us!

Faith will save the worst of us!

There is¬†a clean path to Hell–as well as a dirty one.¬†

You will be lost if you trust to your good works–as surely as if you trusted in your sins.¬†

There is a road to perdition along the ‘highway of morality’–as surely as down the ‘slough of vice’!¬†

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us!” Titus 3:5¬†

You have a heart fit to do the deed!

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You have a heart fit to do the deed!

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

“But they kept shouting:¬†Crucify Him! Crucify Him!”¬†Luke 23:21¬†

Let us often pray that we may thoroughly understand the sinfulness of man’s heart.¬†

Christ is never fully valued–until sin is clearly seen.¬†

We must know the depth and malignity of our disease–in order to appreciate the great Physician.

Few of us, it may be feared, have the least conception of the strength and virulence of the spiritual disease with which we are born! Few entirely realize that “the carnal mind is enmity against God,” and that unconverted human nature, if it had the power–would cast its Maker down from His throne and crucify Him!¬†

The behavior of the Jews before us–is only a picture of what every natural man would do to God, if he only could!¬†

If the bosom of God were within the reach of men, it would be stabbed a million of times in one moment! If the bosom of God were now within your reach, and one blow would rid the universe of God–you have a heart fit to do the deed!”¬†Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Remember that you are the son of a king!

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Remember that you are the son of a king!

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

When a prince was about to travel, he asked his tutor for some maxims by which to govern his behavior. 
He received this answer: “Remember that you are the son of a king!”¬†

Let all Christians remember that they are the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty–and “if sons, then heirs, heirs of God, and¬†joint heirs with Jesus Christ!

“You are . . .¬†
  a chosen people,
  a royal priesthood,
  a holy nation,
¬† God’s special possession
–chosen that you may proclaim the excellence of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light!” 1 Peter 2:9¬†

Jesus Christ is completely sufficient!

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Jesus Christ is completely sufficient!

“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and¬†you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power!” Colossians 2:9-10¬†

One of the great tenets of Scripture, is the claim that Jesus Christ is completely sufficient for all matters of life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4)! 

He is sufficient for:
  creation (Colossians 1:16-17)
  salvation (Hebrews 10:10-12)
  sanctification (Ephesians 5:26-27)
  and glorification (Romans 8:30). 

So pure is He, that there is no blemish, stain, spot of sin, defilement, deception, corruption, error, or imperfection in Him! (1 Peter 1:18-20)

So complete is He, that . . .
  there is no other God besides Him (Isaiah 45:5)
  He is the only begotten Son (John 1:14, John 1:18)
  all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Him (Colossians 2:3)
  the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Him (Colossians 2:9)
  He is heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2)
¬† He created all things–and all things were made¬†
      by Him, through Him, and for Him (Colossians 1:16)
  He upholds all things by the word of His power (Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1:3)
  He is the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15)
  He is the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1:3).

He has no beginning and no end (Revelation 1:17-18) 
He is the spotless Lamb of God (John 1:29)
He is our peace (Ephesians 2:14) 
He is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1) 
He is our life (Colossians 3:4) 
He is the living and true Way (John 14:6) 
He is the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16) 
He is Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11) 
He is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2) 
He is Captain of our Salvation (Hebrews 2:10)  
He is the Elect One (Isaiah 42:1) 
He is the Apostle and High-Priest of our confession (Hebrews 3:1) 
He is the Righteous Servant (Isaiah 53:11).
He is the Lord Almighty (Malachi 3:17)
He is the Redeemer (Isaiah 41:14)
He is the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 54:5)
He is the God of the whole earth (Isaiah 54:5) 
He is the Man of Sorrows (Isaiah 53:3) 
He is the Light of the world (John 9:5)
He is the Son of Man (Matthew 20:28) 
He is the true Vine (John 15:5)
He is the Bread of Life (John 6:48)
He is the Door to Heaven (John 10:7)
He is the Sovereign Lord (Philippians 2:10-13) 
He is Prophet, Priest and King (Hebrews 1:1-3) 
He is our Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4:9) 
He is our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6) 
He is the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, 
   the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) 
He is the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4) 
He is the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5)
He is the Rock of Salvation (Psalm 62:2)
He is the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13)
He is the Counselor and Comforter (John 14:26)
He is the Messiah (John 4:25-26) and 
He is the great I AM (John 8:58)!

Where is Christ in your theological system?

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Where is Christ in your theological system? 

(Charles Spurgeon)

“And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning¬†Himself.” Luke 24:27¬†

“These are the Scriptures that testify about¬†Me!” John 5:39¬†

Take this Book and distill it into one word–and that one word will be JESUS! The Bible itself, is but the body of Christ, and we may look upon all its pages as the swaddling bands of the infant Savior–for if we unroll the Scripture, we come upon Jesus Christ Himself.

Where is Christ in your theological system? 
He Himself is . . .
  the Doctor and Doctrine, 
  the Revealer and Revelation, 
  the Illuminator and the Light of men. 

He is exalted in every word of truth, because He is its sum and substance. 

He sits above the gospel, like a prince on His own throne. 

Doctrine is most precious, when we see it distilling from His lips and embodied in His person. 

Sermons are only valuable, in proportion as they speak of Him and point to Him!

Look at it–there is blood still upon the handle!

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Look at it–there is blood still upon the handle!¬†

(Charles Spurgeon)

A sight of Christ on the cross will cause us to hate our sins. 

If you ever, by the¬†eye of faith, see Jesus Christ dying for you–sin will never be sweet to you again.¬†

What was it that slew our blessed Lord? It was our sin!

When we discover that our iniquities put our dearest and best Friend to death, we vow revenge against our iniquities, and henceforth hate them with a perfect hatred. 

Let me illustrate this very simply: 
Here is a¬†knife¬†with a richly carved ivory handle–a knife of excellent workmanship. Yonder woman, we will suppose, has had a dear child murdered by a cruel enemy. This knife is hers, she is pleased with it, and prizes it much. How can I make her throw that knife away? I can do it easily, for that is the knife with which her child was murdered!¬†Look at it–there is blood still upon the handle!She drops it as though it were a scorpion–she cannot bear it. “Put it away,” says she, “it killed my child! Oh, hateful thing!”¬†

Now,¬†sin¬†is such a hateful thing. We play with it until we are told that it was sin which killed the Lord Jesus, who died out of love to us–pure, self-sacrificing love. Then we say, “Hateful thing–be gone! How can I endure you!”¬†

See there the wounds of the Son of God; 
behold the crimson stains on His blessed body;
mark the thorn-crown; 
gaze upon those pierced hands; 
weep over the nailed feet; 
see the deep gash which the lance made in His side! 

Sin did this cruel work–this bloody deed!¬†

Down with our sins!
Drag them to the cross!
Slay them at Calvary!
Let not one of them escape, for they are the murderers of Christ!

“It was you, my sins, my cruel sins,
  His chief tormentors were;
  Each of my crimes became a nail,
¬† And unbelief the spear!”¬†

Every feature of this hideous monster!

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Every feature of this hideous monster!

(Thomas Charles, “Sanctification” 1838)

Meditation on the sufferings and death of Jesus, produces a hatred towards sin. 

It was sin which made it necessary for the Lord of glory to come down from Heaven and take on Him the form of a servant. Sin was the cause of His deep humiliation, abasement and sufferings.¬†Viewing sin through the cross–the believer abhors it, and regards it with perfect hatred. He therefore diligently strives against it, and strenuously resists Satan, from whose iron chains he could never have been delivered, had it not been for the death of the Son of God.¬†

Sin will never appear in its own deformity and horrid nature–until we see it in its effects in the Son of God–until we “behold the Lamb of God” bearing our sin on the cruel tree. Christ crucified, like a magnifying glass–exhibits to view¬†every feature of this hideous monster!

‘Anything rather than sin!’¬†is the language of the Christian’s heart!¬†

“A bleeding Savior I have viewed–and now I hate my sin!”
 John Newton

“Look to the cross, and hate your sin–for sin nailed your Well-Beloved to the accursed tree!”¬†Charles Spurgeon

Yet it is a profitable loss!

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Yet it is a profitable loss!

(Thomas Charles, “The Benefits of Affliction” 1838)

“God disciplines us for our profit, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:10-11¬†

Inasmuch as God has assured us that He causes all things to work together for our good–patience and resignation to the divine will in all things, is our duty. In His good time He may allow us to see such wisdom and goodness in all of our circumstances, as to fill our hearts with transports of joy. To follow Him is our part–without murmuring or complaining.

Nothing befalls us without a cause–no trouble comes upon us sooner, or presses more heavily, or continues longer–than what God knows that our case requires. What our short-sighted ignorance calls¬†adversities¬†or¬†evils–are in reality and truth, well-designed and gracious¬†blessings, and form a part of the means employed by God’s goodness and grace, to prepare us for the exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Away then with all impatience and all murmurings!

All our desire in this world, should be to live¬†holily¬†and live¬†usefully–and affliction, by the blessing of God, has great influence in promoting both. Sanctified affliction greatly promotes holiness, and is also a great preparative for usefulness. It is working out at the same time a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory in the eternal world. God always chastens us, for our profit. Though we may thereby lose earthly comforts, ease and enjoyments–yet it is a profitable loss. What we lose in these things–we gain in holiness. It is for our profit, to become partakers of His holiness.¬†

“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

How kind and merciful Christ is to dull and slow believers

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How kind and merciful Christ is to dull and slow believers

(J.C. Ryle)

“Then He said to Thomas:¬†Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”¬†John 20:27¬†

We should mark in this verse,¬†how kind and merciful Christ is to dull and slow believers.¬†Nowhere, perhaps, in all the four Gospels, do we find this part of our Lord’s character so beautifully illustrated as in the story before our eyes.

It is hard to imagine anything more tiresome and provoking than the conduct of¬†Thomas, when even the testimony of ten faithful brethren had no effect on him, and he doggedly declared, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side–I will not believe!”¬†John 20:25

But it is impossible to imagine anything more patient and compassionate, than our Lord’s treatment of this weak disciple. He does not reject him, or dismiss him, or excommunicate him. He comes again at the end of a week, and apparently for the special benefit of¬†Thomas. He deals with him according to his weakness, like a gentle nurse dealing with a froward child, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side.” If nothing but the plainest, coarsest, most material evidence could satisfy him–even that evidence was supplied. Surely this was a¬†love¬†that surpasses knowledge, and a¬†patience¬†that passes understanding.

A passage of Scripture like this, we need not doubt, was written for the special comfort of all true believers. The Holy Spirit knew well that the¬†dull, and the¬†slow, and the¬†stupid, and the¬†doubting–are by far the commonest type of disciples in this evil world. The Holy Spirit has taken care to supply abundant evidence that Jesus is rich in patience as well as compassion, and that He bears with the infirmities of all His people.¬†

Let us take care that we drink into our Lord’s spirit, and copy His example. Let us never set down men as godless, because their faith is feeble and their love is cold. Let us remember the case of¬†Thomas–and be very compassionate and of tender mercy.¬†

Our Lord has . . .
  many weak children in His family,
  many dull pupils in His school,
  many raw soldiers in His army,
  many lame sheep in His flock.
Yet He bears with them all, and casts none away. 

Happy is that Christian who has learned to deal likewise with his brethren. There are many in the Church, who, like Thomas, are dull and slow–but for all that, like Thomas, are real and true believers.

God washes and scours, trains and nurtures them!

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God washes and scours, trains and nurtures them!

(The Preacher’s Book)

Frankincense, when it is put into the¬†fire–gives off the greater perfume.¬†

Spice, if it is¬†pounded¬†and¬†beaten–smells the sweeter.¬†

The earth, when it is torn up with the¬†plough–becomes more fruitful.¬†

The seed in the ground, after¬†frost¬†and¬†snow¬†and¬†winter storms–grows the thicker.

The nearer the vine is¬†pruned¬†to the stock–the larger grapes it yields.

The grape, when it is most¬†pressed¬†and¬†beaten–makes the sweetest wine.

Linen, when it is¬†washed¬†and¬†wrung¬†and¬†beaten–is so made fairer and whiter.¬†

In the same way, the children of God receive great benefit by affliction–for by it¬†God washes and scours, trains and nurtures them.

“Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit!”¬†John 15:2¬†

Self-sins!

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Self-sins!

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

(A.W. Tozer)

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

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

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

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

Home, sweet home! There is no place like home!

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Home, sweet home! There is no place like home!

(James Smith, “Rills from the Rock of Ages”, 1860)

“These all died in faith . . . they confessed that they were¬†strangers¬†and¬†pilgrims¬†on the earth” Hebrews 11:13

The day of life with them is ended. Its duties are ended. Its responsibilities are past. Its hours are fled away.

What a trying day some of them had! How stormy. How sultry. How often overcast. How gloomy. But it is now past–and past forever!¬†The toils of the wilderness are over!¬†They had much to afflict and pain them . . .¬†
  a difficult and dangerous journey,
  a long wearisome march,
  many a heavy cross to carry,
  many a stubborn foe to face,
  many a painful doubt,
  numerous gloomy fears.

But now the¬†wilderness¬†is all behind them! The¬†afflictions¬†of the pilgrimage¬†are terminated. Those sufferings were sharp, and some of them continued long. Many of them were endured in secret, without sympathy and without relief. They were¬†soul¬†sorrows, agony of¬†mind–as well as sharp pains of¬†body. But however multiplied, however severe, however protracted those sorrows–they are past and gone, never, never to return!

The sweetest repose is now enjoyed. The poor¬†tabernacle¬†has been taken down, and is laid in a quiet resting-place until the resurrection morning. The¬†soul¬†is gone to be with Jesus. It has traveled through the rough path of life–and is now in God’s presence, where there is fullness of joy, and pleasures for evermore!

As Christians, we are going to the same place. The¬†graves¬†will soon be ready for our bodies–and the¬†mansions of glory¬†for our souls.¬†We are going home!¬†Home to our Father’s house! Home where our¬†hearts¬†have long been. Home where all our¬†prayers¬†will be answered, and all our best¬†desires¬†will be gratified. “Home, sweet home! There is no place like home!”¬†Especially our home!¬†Aparadise¬†without a tempting serpent! A paradise where all are holy, all are safe, all are happy. Those pure and perpetual joys, which are at God’s right hand, await us! We¬†taste¬†them now and are delighted with a¬†sip–but there we shall soon drink¬†full draughts¬†of eternal glory, eternal joy, and eternal blessedness!

Amidst present toils and trials, dangers and distresses–when wearied, way-worn, and tempted to fret–remember that you will soon be HOME! Think, think, O my soul, of an eternity of enjoyment–when the sufferings of time are ended!¬†

“Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away!” Revelation 21:3-4¬†

(Please forward this uplifting post to all of your Christian friends who are going through times of affliction.)

What are you doing with your time?

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What are you doing with your time?

(J.R. Miller)

“Be very careful, then, how you live–not as unwise but as wise, making the most of the time” Ephesians 5:15-16¬†

Our¬†days, as God gives them to us–are like beautiful summer fields.¬†
The hours are like trees with their rich fruit, or vines with their blossoms of purple clusters. 
The minutes are like blooming flowers, or stalks of wheat with their golden grains. 

Oh the endless, blessed possibilities of our¬†days¬†and¬†hours¬†and¬†minutes–as they come to us from God’s hands!¬†

But what did you do with yesterday? How does the little acre of that one day look to you now? 

What are you doing with your time?¬†Every moment God gives you, has in it a possibility of beauty or usefulness–as well as something to be accounted for.¬†

Are you using your time for God?

“Show me, O Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting is my life!” Psalm 39:4¬†

Jeremy Taylor: “God has given to man a short time here upon earth, and yet upon this short time eternity depends!”

Ryle: “No time is so well spent in every day–as that which we spend upon our knees.”

Spurgeon: “Time is short. Eternity is long. It is only reasonable that this short life be lived in the light of eternity!”

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

Better to rot in prison!

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Better to rot in prison!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prepare to meet the monster!

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Prepare to meet the monster! 

(David Harsha) 

This young lady had been confined to a bed of severe suffering for one year. At last her soul was ripened for glory. The time came that she must die, and her death-bed was a scene of triumph. Christ was very precious to her, and His love was wonderfully manifested to her soul. She often exclaimed, “My Beloved is mine, and I am His.”¬†

The following are among her last words: 

To her distant¬†brother¬†she thus dictated a letter: “Dear brother, I know not whether I shall meet you again on earth; but I hope to meet you in Heaven, where we shall be forever singing the praises of God; where the Lamb, who is in the midst of the throne, shall feed us, and lead us unto living fountains of waters, and where God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes.”¬†

To her¬†father, who said to her, “I fear I must lose you.” She replied, “Your loss will be my gain! I have a building from God, a house, not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.” And again when he said, “I think you will fall asleep in Jesus;” she responded, “It will be a happy change!”¬†

She exclaimed in a transport of joy, “Oh! I would not give up Christ for all the world!”¬†

Her earthly course being nearly finished, she opened her eyes, which were soon to be closed in death, and in the language of strong, unshaken faith, exclaimed with Job, “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and that he will stand upon the earth at last. And after my body has decayed, yet in my body I will see God! I will see him for myself. Yes, I will see him with my own eyes. I am overwhelmed at the thought!”¬†

Her faith remained firm unto the end, and her hope and confidence unshaken to the last. Her sky was clear and serene, her mind calm and composed–and thus she fell asleep in Jesus and entered into the joy of her Lord.¬†

A few days before this young lady died, she requested the following lines to be read at her funeral. 

To my young companions:

“My youthful mates, both small and great,¬†
  Stand here, and you shall see, 
  An awful sight, which is a type 
  Of what you soon will be! 

“I used to appear once fresh and fair¬†
  Among the youthful crowd; 
  But now behold me dead and cold, 
  Wrapped in a sable shroud! 

“My cheeks once red, like roses spread,¬†
  My sparkling eyes so gay; 
¬† But now you see how ’tis with me,¬†
  A lifeless lump of clay! 

“When you are dressed in all your best,¬†
¬† In ‘fashion’ so complete,¬†
  You soon must be, as you see me, 
  Wrapped in a shrouding sheet! 

“Ah, youth beware, and do¬†prepare¬†
  To meet the monster
, death! 
  For he may come when you are young, 
  And steal away your breath! 

“When you unto your frolics go,¬†
  Remember what I say; 
  In short time, though in your prime, 
  You may be called away! 

“Now I am gone, I can’t return;¬†
¬† No more of me you’ll see;¬†
  But it is true that all of you, 
  Must shortly follow me! 

“When you unto my grave do go,¬†
  That gloomy place to see, 
  I say to you who stand and view, 
¬† Prepare to follow me!”

What an awful thing it is to die without salvation by Christ, without a saving interest in him; and yet millions live without God, and without hope in the world. And millions more die in the same awful condition, and plunge into a dark and miserable eternity!

“Let me die like the righteous–let my life end like theirs!” Numbers 23:10

The Christian is not a good man

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The Christian is not a good man

(Martyn Lloyd Jones)

The Christian is not a good man. 

He is a vile wretch who has been save by the grace of God!

“You see, at just the right time, when we were still¬†powerless, Christ died for the¬†ungodly.” Romans 5:6¬†

“But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still¬†sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8¬†

“When we were¬†God’s enemies, we were reconciled to Him through the death of His Son” Romans 5:10¬†

“Christ Jesus came into the world to save¬†sinners–of whom I am the¬†worst!” 1 Timothy 1:15¬†

A beloved child–watched over, cared for, supplied and defended!

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A beloved child–watched over, cared for, supplied and defended!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“The Lord takes pleasure in His people!” Psalm 149:4¬†

How comprehensive is the love of Jesus! There is no part of His people’s interests that He does not consider; and there is nothing that concerns their welfare, which is not important to Him. Not merely does He think of you, believer, as an¬†immortal¬†being–but as a¬†mortal¬†being, also. Do not deny it or doubt it: “The very¬†hairs¬†of your head are all numbered.” “The¬†steps¬†of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delights in His way.” Believer, rest assured that the heart of Jesus cares about your common affairs.

The breadth of His tender love is such that you may resort to Him in all matters; for as a father pities his children, so does He pity you. Oh, what a heart is His–which comprehends all the diverse and innumerable concerns of all His redeemed people!

Do you think that you can measure the love of Christ? Think of what His love has brought you–justification, adoption, sanctification and eternal life! The riches of His goodness are unsearchable–you shall never be able to¬†count¬†them out or even¬†conceive¬†of them all. Oh, the breadth of the love of Christ! You are no desolate wanderer, but¬†a beloved child–watched over, cared for, supplied and defended¬†by your Lord!

“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¬†

They are all gone!

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They are all gone! 

(Charles Spurgeon)

“If you, O Lord, should keep a record of our sins–Lord, who could stand before You?” Psalm 130:3¬†

“I–yes, I alone–will blot out your sins for My own sake, and will never remember them again!” Isaiah 43:25¬†

“You will tread our sins underfoot, and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea!” Micah 7:19¬†

All our transgressions are swept away at once, carried off as by a flood! They are so completely removed from us–that no guilty trace of them remains!¬†They are all gone!¬†

Oh, believers, think of this, for it is no little thing. 
Sins against a holy God, 
sins against His loving Son, 
sins against the Gospel–as well as against the Law,¬†
sins against man–as well as against God,¬†
sins of the body–as well as sins of the mind,¬†
sins as numerous as the sands on the seashore, and as great as the sea itself
–all, all are removed from us–as far as the east is from the west!

All this evil was rolled into one great mass and laid upon Jesus!¬†Having borne it all, He has made an end of it forever. When the Lord forgave us, He forgave us the whole debt. He did not take the bill and say, “I strike out¬†this¬†item, and¬†that¬†item”–but the pen went through it all:¬†Paid in full!¬†

“For as high as the heavens are above the earth–so great is His faithful love toward those who fear Him.
¬†As far as the east is from the west–so far has He removed our transgressions from us!” Psalm 103:11-12

“My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought!
 My sin, not in part but the whole,
 Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
¬†Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!”
   
Horatio Spafford

Oh! look before you, and see where it leads!

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Oh! look before you, and see where it leads!

(Samuel Davies, “Saints Saved with Difficulty; and the Certain Perdition of the Wicked”)

“Enter through the¬†narrow¬†gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But¬†small¬†is the gate and¬†narrow¬†the road that leads to life, and only a¬†few¬†find it!” Matthew 7:13-14

This, my friends, and this alone–is the way of salvation. Is this the way in which¬†you¬†are walking? Or is it the smooth, easy downward road to destruction? You may slide along that without exertion or difficulty, like a dead fish floating with the stream; but¬†oh! look before you, and see where it leads!¬†

Most people . . .
  form some easy system of religion,
  from their own vain imaginations,
  suited to their depraved taste,
  indulgent to their sloth and carnality, 
¬† and favorable to their lusts–
and this they call ‘Christianity’!¬†

But this is not the religion of the Bible! This is not the¬†way to life¬†laid out by God in His Word–but it is¬†the smooth downward road to destruction!

One of the best tests of growth in grace

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One of the best tests of growth in grace

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.” 2 Peter 3:18

“Grow in grace”–not in¬†one¬†grace only, but in¬†all¬†the Christian graces.¬†

Grow in the starting place of grace, faith. Believe the promises more firmly than you have before. Let faith increase in fullness, constancy and simplicity. 

Grow also in love. Ask that your love may become extended, more intense, more practical, influencing every thought, word and deed. 

Grow likewise in humility. Seek to lie very low, and know more of your own nothingness.

As you grow downward in humility, seek also to grow upward–having nearer approaches to God in¬†prayer¬†and more intimate¬†fellowship with Jesus.¬†

To know Him is “life eternal”–and to advance in the knowledge of Him is to increase in happiness. Whoever has sipped this wine will thirst for more; for although Christ satisfies–yet it is such a satisfaction that the appetite is not only satisfied, but invigorated.

If you know the love of Jesus–then will you pant after deeper draughts of His love.¬†
If you do not desire to know Him better–then you do not love Him at all, for love always cries,¬†“Nearer, nearer!”¬†

Seek to know more of Him . . .
  in His divine and human natures,
  in His sin-atoning work,
  in His excruciating death for you,
  in His present glorious intercession,
  and in His future royal coming in glory! 

Remain by the cross, and search the mystery of His wounds!

An increase of love for Jesus, and a more perfect apprehension of His love for us–is¬†one of the best tests of growth in grace.

Not one grain too much!

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Not one grain too much!

(Henry Ward Beecher, 1813-1887)

“Endure suffering as discipline;¬†God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?” Hebrews 12:7¬†

Affliction comes to us all: 
¬† not to make us sad–but sober;¬†
¬†¬†not to make us sorry–but to make us wise;¬†
¬†¬†not to impoverish us–but to enrich us!

We are always in the¬†furnace–or on the¬†anvil.
By trials, God is shaping us for nobler things.

Troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things!

No physician ever weighed out medicine to his patients with half so much care and exactness, as God weighs out every trial to His children. Not one grain too much, does He ever permit to be put in the scale! 

The troubles and worries of life may be as stumbling blocks in our way–or we may make them stepping-stones to a nobler character and to Heaven.¬†

“Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in His holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” Hebrews 12:10-11¬†

Its tones fall like soothing music on the quivering heart!

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Its tones fall like soothing music on the quivering heart!

(J.R. Miller)

“His disciples came, and took up the body, and buried it–and went and told Jesus.” Matthew 14:12

When one dies in our home, and our hearts are breaking–we should go and tell Jesus. It will do us good to tell Him.

We may not care to tell our trouble to any human friend. Some sorrows are too sacred to be unveiled to any eyes. 

But we need never shrink from telling Jesus. He can understand our grief, for He knows all human pain; not alone as God–but as man, for He experienced all sorrow. He will treat our sorrow, too, with most delicate gentleness.

The very words which others speak to comfort us–often fall with crude impact upon our bruised heart and give fresh pain. The gentlest touch of a human hand, often hurts where it is meant to help. But the¬†voice¬†of Jesus is so gentle that¬†its tones fall like soothing music on the quivering heart, and the¬†hand¬†of Jesus is so skillful that its touch gives healing.

We need never fear to tell Jesus of our sorrow. He is the truest Comforter, and the wisest Healer of hurt hearts.

Worse than Hell!

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Worse than Hell! 

(Thomas Watson, “Religion Our True Interest”)

Sin is the only evil thing–it is the evil of evils!

Sin is the poison which the old serpent spat into our virgin nature! 

In sin there is both pollution and enmity. Sin is compared to a “thick cloud” (Isaiah 44:22), which not only hides the light of God’s face–but brings down showers of His wrath!¬†

Sin is¬†worse¬†than all evils. There is more evil in a¬†drop¬†of sin–than in a¬†sea¬†of affliction!

Sin is the¬†cause¬†of all evil. Out of this viperous womb of sin, come “evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, wickedness, deceit, eagerness for lustful pleasure, envy, slander, pride, and foolishness.”

Sin is the quintessence of evil. 

Sin puts a sting into death (1 Corinthians 15:56). 

Sin is¬†worse than Hell!¬†Hell is a burden only to the sinner–but sin is a burden to God! Amos 2:13

A New Year’s Resolution

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A New Year’s Resolution

(Matthew Henry)

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

Firmly believing that my times are in God’s hand, I here submit myself and all my affairs for the ensuing year, to the wise and gracious disposal of God’s divine providence. Whether God appoints for me . . . .
  health or sickness,
  peace or trouble,
  comforts or crosses,
¬† life or death–
may His holy will be done!
All my time, strength, and service, I devote to the honor of the Lord Jesus–and even my common actions. It is my earnest expectation, hope, and desire, my constant aim and endeavor–that Jesus Christ may be magnified in me.

In everything I have to do–my entire dependence is upon Jesus Christ for strength. And whatever I do in word or deed, I desire to do all in His name, to make Him my Alpha and Omega. I¬†have¬†all from Him–and I would¬†use¬†all for Him.

If this should prove a year of¬†affliction, a¬†sorrowful¬†year to me–I will fetch all my supports and comforts from the Lord Jesus and stay myself upon Him, His everlasting consolations, and the good hope I have in Him through grace.

And if it should be my¬†dying¬†year–then¬†my times are in the hand of the Lord Jesus. And with a humble reliance upon His mediation, I would venture into the eternal world looking for the blessed hope. Dying as well as living–Jesus Christ will, I trust, be gain and advantage to me.

Oh, that the grace of God may be sufficient for me, to keep me always a humble sense of my own unworthiness, weakness, folly, and infirmity–together with a humble dependence upon the Lord Jesus Christ for both righteousness and strength.

   ~  ~  ~  ~

“Remember that your life is short, your duties are many, your assistance is great, and your reward is sure. Therefore faint not, persevere in ways of holiness–and Heaven shall make amends for all!”¬†Thomas Brooks

A New Year’s Address

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A New Year’s Address

James Smith, New Park Street Church, London, 1849


“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever!”¬†
Hebrews 13:8

Everything around us is changing and fast passing away! Nothing appears settled or secure! The old year has fled and has told its tale; a new year begins today and will introduce mercies and trials, comforts and distresses, darkness and light. Who can tell what is folded up in the bosom of this year? 

Could we look through the coming hours, days, weeks, and months of this year; could we count the head-aches and the¬†heart-acheswhich await us; the¬†disappointments¬†we shall meet, the¬†vexations¬†we shall experience, the¬†distresses¬†we must pass through‚ÄĒour hearts would perhaps be wrung with anguish, and our minds be clouded with gloom! But these are¬†wisely concealed¬†from our view, and whatever may be our anticipations or forebodings, the Lord meets us on the threshold of this year and assures us that¬†“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever!”¬†This is our encouragement, beloved friends.

God himself in pity and compassion gives us this sweet, cheering, and animating assurance. Could Jesus change, then we might sink into gloom, despondency, and despair! Creatures¬†may¬†change, and¬†do¬†change for the worse instead of the better‚ÄĒbut Jesus is the same. It is impossible that he should be better‚ÄĒfor he is altogether perfect. And being perfect‚ÄĒhe can never change for the worse. He embodies everything that is amiable, glorious, and inviting in¬†deity; and everything that is excellent, admirable, and sweet in¬†humanity. He blends the¬†attributes of God‚ÄĒand the¬†perfections of man¬†in his sacred character. He is at once our Brother‚ÄĒand our God; our Maker‚ÄĒand our Fellow; our Lord‚ÄĒand our Husband. O admirable mystery! O encouraging connection! O delightful truth!

Brethren, what have the Lord’s people found Jesus to be in bygone days? That, all that‚ÄĒis Jesus NOW. Yes, this new year’s morning he has all that love, kindness, tenderness, pity, compassion, verity, and majesty‚ÄĒwhich his people in every age have proved him to possess. He who¬†sympathized¬†with the widow of Nain, who had¬†compassion¬†on the hungry multitude, and¬†wept¬†with the sisters of departed Lazarus‚ÄĒis just the same now‚ÄĒas then. He has the same nature, the same heart, and the same fellow feeling.¬†

True we have not the same¬†visible¬†expressions of his tenderness and pity‚ÄĒbut they are nevertheless real; he is the same today as he was yesterday, and will be the same forever. We have the same Jesus to deal with‚ÄĒas had the Syrophenician woman, the¬†adulteress¬†at Jacob’s well, or the¬†thief¬†upon the cross. He is deeply interested in our welfare, lovingly concerned to do us good, and ready to help us in every time of trouble.¬†

His¬†ear¬†is at every believer’s heart‚ÄĒlistening to the voice of his sighs, groans, and desires.¬†

His eye is observant of the Christian’s goings, and marks every step he takes.¬†

His hand is stretched out to help him in every time of trial, or circumstance of difficulty. 

His affections yearn over him with indescribable affection and pity in every affliction or trouble. 

He loves us dearly. 

He knows our frame. 

He considers our circumstances. 

He pities our weaknesses. 

He watches our movements. 

He orders our steps. 

He instructs our minds. 

He subdues our sins. 

He frustrates our enemies. 

He will never for one moment leave us, nor on any account forsake us!

No, he will never turn away from doing of us good‚ÄĒbut will rejoice over us to do us good with his whole heart, and with his whole soul. Jesus is the same. He is one with us, has suffered like us, and knows by experience what our temptations, trials, and distresses are! He is no stranger to a troubled heart, a pained body, or the distress occasioned by the loss of the divine presence, he has passed through the whole. Therefore my poor, tried, tempted, and distressed brother, or sister in the Lord, learn to look to Jesus‚ÄĒas Jesus‚ÄĒas one touched with the feeling of your infirmities. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are!”

We are apt to think the¬†Lord¬†changes‚ÄĒwhen his¬†dispensations¬†change. But no! The change of his dispensations proceeds from the immutability of his purpose respecting us, and his love to us. He is determined to bless us indeed, and this being the case‚ÄĒhe must empty us from vessel to vessel, and¬†change his dealings¬†according to the state of our hearts, our enemies, or our temptations. Our immutable Jesus always pursues one steady¬†course, and has one gracious¬†design¬†towards us‚ÄĒall must work to produce our sanctification, and eternal salvation.¬†

The Lord Jesus will not¬†indulge¬†us‚ÄĒwhen indulgence will harm us. He will only¬†correct¬†us‚ÄĒwhen correction will do us good. His infinite¬†wisdom¬†devises our way, and inconceivable¬†love¬†directs our steps. Creatures, providences, experiences may change‚ÄĒbut Jesus is the same!

His heart is as tender, 
His eye is as penetrating, 
His ear is as attentive, 
His arm is as powerful, 
His presence is as near, 
His name is as sweet, 
His blood is as efficacious, 
His righteousness is as glorious, 
His promises are as certain, 
His oath is as sure, 
His throne is as accessible, 
His love is as great, 
His concern for us is as deep, 
His intercession is as prevalent 
‚ÄĒas it ever was! And will be so through every week, day, hour‚ÄĒyes,¬†minute¬†of the present year! May we always keep this in remembrance!

Beloved, you must¬†trust¬†no one,¬†depend¬†on no one,¬†look¬†to no source either for peace, comfort, or supply, through this year‚ÄĒbut Jesus! He is willing and waiting to supply all your needs, according to his glorious riches! Soul needs, body needs, family needs, church needs; needs in sickness, needs in health; needs at home, needs abroad; needs while living, needs when dying‚ÄĒJesus¬†can,¬†will, yes¬†wishes¬†to supply them all.¬†

He will keep his seat on the¬†throne of grace¬†throughout the whole of the year! You will never find him absent for any one moment, or so engaged‚ÄĒthat he cannot attend to you. He will always be pleased to see you come, and will at all times consider your case. But you must go to him¬†first‚ÄĒbe sure you remember this, for he has a jealous eye!¬†
You must go to him alone, 
you must go to him for all, 
you must go to him frequently, 
you must go to him perseveringly,
and as sure as his name is¬†Jesus‚ÄĒyou shall not go in vain!

I proclaim to you in my Master’s name, that he has everything you can need for body or soul‚ÄĒfor time or eternity! And as his herald I cry, “Ho! everyone who thirsts, and whenever you thirst‚ÄĒcome to the waters, come buy and eat! Yes, come, buy wine and milk‚ÄĒwithout money and without cost!”¬†

I have a complaint against some‚ÄĒthat they have not come¬†often¬†enough; and against others‚ÄĒthat they have gone to some other market! But let me interrogate you a little:¬†
Did ever my Master frown you away? 
Did you ever find him lacking in kindness, pity, or love? 
Did you ever need any blessing which was not to be found in his fullness, or to be had at his throne?
Did you ever do better, or so well anywhere else? 
You must all to a man say,¬†No!¬†Why then do you¬†forsake¬†the fountain of living waters? Why do you¬†wander¬†upon every mountain and hill‚ÄĒand forget your true resting place? Jesus addresses you through me, and says, “O my people, what have I done unto you? Wherein have I wearied you? Testify against me!”

None have come too frequent; no‚ÄĒnor ever will. Come, then, and receive, and so glorify Jesus.

But I must draw to a conclusion, there are seven things I wish you may all more fully EXPERIENCE this year:

His Spirit working in your hearts, 
His blood speaking in your consciences, 
His power subduing your corruptions, 
His blessing resting upon your souls, 
His presence cheering your way, 
His righteousness covering your sins, 
His peace keeping your hearts and minds. 

There are seven things I wish you may know it is your privilege to HAVE this year: 
a name in his book, 
a sight of his covenant, 
a tear in his bottle, 
a place in his heart, 
a title to his fullness, 
a right to his promises, and 
an interest in his prayers.

There are seven things I wish you may DO this year:
weep at his cross, 
wrestle at his throne, 
cleave to his truth, 
walk in his ways, 
aim at his honor, 
comfort his people, and 
spread his fame in every direction.

There are seven things which I wish you may ENJOY this year:
the light of his countenance, 
the power of his love,
the hope of his calling, 
the blessings of his chosen, 
contentment under all dispensations, 
liberty in performing his commands,
and victory over every foe. 

There are seven things from which I hope you may be PRESERVED from, this year:
a hard heart, 
a seared conscience, 
a Laodicean state, 
a proud look, 
an unforgiving spirit, 
an envious eye, and 
from distrusting God. 

And now, brethren, Jesus can¬†give¬†all that I wish you to¬†experience, to¬†know, to¬†enjoy!¬†And he can¬†preserve¬†you from all I wish you to be¬†kept from. But he says, “I will be¬†inquired¬†of, by the house of Israel, to do it for them.” You must ask, seek, knock, plead, wrestle, and agonize at his throne‚ÄĒfor he loves a determined, importunate, perservering beggar; as is evident from Luke 11:1-14; 18:1-9.¬†

“May the Lord bless you
 and protect you.
 May the Lord smile on you
 and be gracious to you.
 May the Lord show you his favor
¬†and give you his peace.”
    Numbers 6:24-26

The devil’s chessboard!

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The devil’s chessboard!

(Charles Spurgeon, “Flowers from a Puritan’s Garden” 1883)¬†

“So that Satan will not outsmart us. For we are familiar with his evil schemes!” 2 Corinthians 2:11¬†

“Be watchful;¬†the world is¬†the devil’s chessboard!¬†You can hardly move backward or forward, but he is ready to attack you with some temptation!”

Those who play at the game of chess know that great caution is needed. Your opponent is working toward a design of which you know nothing; and while you imagine that you are doing exceedingly well, he is entrapping you!

The game of life
, as against Satan, is one in which . . .
  his maneuvers and artifice, 
  his long practice and stratagems,
  his superior skill and deceptiveness,
¬† and his unscrupulous schemes–
give him an immense advantage over our poor self-conceited folly!

Lord, help us! You know our adversary; be pleased to deliver us out of his hand.

“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes!” Ephesians 6:11

Nothing more than the common consent of fools!

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Nothing more than the common consent of fools!

(Charles Spurgeon)

Any kind of fad which rules the hour, draws a mad crowd after it. No matter how absurd or ridiculous the mania, the worshipers of fashion cry: “These are your gods!” Yes, Satan is marvelously well obeyed by his servants!

Yet many of you church people look around on society–to follow its customs and fashions.¬†

You watch the general current–and then float upon it.

You study the popular breeze–and shift your sails to suit it.¬†

You ask:¬†“Is it fashionable?”¬†
If it is fashionable, then you must do it. 

Fashion is the law of multitudes–but it is¬†nothing more than the common consent of fools!

To follow the fashions and customs of the times, is to be an enemy of God.

“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¬†

ūüéĄ The Glorious Incarnation: God With Us

If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: ‚ÄúGod with us.‚ÄĚ We tend to focus our attention at Christmas on the infancy of Christ. The greater truth of the holiday is His deity. More astonishing than a baby in the manger is the truth that this promised baby is the omnipotent Creator of the heavens and the earth!

John MacArthur

A head full of froth!

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A head full of froth!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“I hate¬†vain thoughts–but I love Your law!” Psalm 119:113

Many of you know more about your¬†magazines¬†and¬†novels–than what God has written in His holy Word!

Many of you will read a¬†novel¬†from the beginning to the end, and what have you got?¬†A head full of froth¬†when you are done! But you cannot read the Bible–that solid, lasting, substantial, and satisfying food goes uneaten,¬†locked up in the cupboard of neglect–while anything that¬†man¬†writes, a best-seller of the day–you greedily devour!

“Turn away my eyes from looking at¬†worthless¬†things!” Psalm 119:37¬†

All that we need drops from His palm!

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All that we need drops from His palm!

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

“The eyes of all look to You–and You give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand, and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” Psalm 145:15-16¬†

All our¬†supplies¬†come from God, therefore our¬†dependence¬†should be on Him, and our¬†expectations¬†from Him. Creatures act towards us in kindness and sympathy–according to His direction.¬†

The eyes of all creation are upon the Lord, and all the tribes of His creatures are fed by His hand. How much more, then, should His children look to Him, seek from Him, and expect to be supplied by Him! 

Whatever God does–He does wisely and seasonably; and whatever He gives–is in season. When our needs are felt, and our cry is heard–then our supply is certain. It is but for God to open His hand–and¬†all that we need drops from His palm!¬†When God’s hand opens–our desires will soon be satisfied. Every temporal mercy, every spiritual gift, and all the supplies needed by our souls–lie in the hand of God for us. He loves for us to fix our eyes on Him, to lift up our voice to Him, and seek every blessing from Him.¬†

Merciful Lord, You have fed us this day. Your loving heart and open hand have supplied all our needs. We gratefully acknowledge Your wondrous goodness, and bless You for Your suitable supplies. And now, O Lord, close up the day with us in mercy–give us a sense of Your forgiving love, and faith in Your protecting care. Help us to cast every care on You, and to fall asleep tonight as on a parent’s bosom. Let Your peace pervade us, and inspire us with strong confidence in Your providential protection.

“Behold, as the eyes of slaves look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maid look to the hand of her mistress–so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till He shows us His mercy.” Psalm 123:2

 

The Great Physician and His patients!

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The Great Physician and His patients!

(George Everard, “The Great Physician and His Patients” 1874)

“Those who are well have no need of a¬†Physician, but those who are sick.” Luke 5:31¬†

Our Great Physician possesses the most perfect skill to discern the peculiar needs of each case. He sees the working of all this¬†sinand¬†corruption¬†and¬†hardness¬†of heart–and He can counteract it all by His all-sufficient grace. Before you have spoken a word, when you kneel down and cast yourself upon His mercy–He is prepared to forgive and save. Christ knows beforehand all that you are, and cannot fail to support His tempted or afflicted child.

In Christ there is not only Divine¬†wisdom¬†to discern every case of spiritual disease–but He also has Divine¬†power¬†completely to effect a cure. When He was upon earth, none were sent away unhealed. The blind and the lame, the deaf and the dumb, the palsied and the lepers, those possessed with demons and the dead–all alike were healed immediately by the touch of Jesus. “The whole multitude sought to touch Him–for virtue went out of Him, and healed them ALL.”¬†

Thus completely and surely does Jesus restore all who come to Him. He can . . .
  open the eyes long closed in the night of ignorance, 
¬† strengthen those who have yet had no power to¬†walk¬†in God’s ways,¬†
  unstop the ear long deaf to the sweet voice of the Gospel, 
  teach the prayerless lips to plead with God, 
  remove the paralysis of a careless indifference,
  cleanse souls from the leprosy of debasing lusts,
  cast out the evil spirits of envy, and hatred and unbelief,
  save men from the fever of covetousness, and every evil temper.

His power, when on earth, reached to the very worst cases of disease! The man full of leprosy, and the woman whom other physicians had tried in vain to cure–both came, and others just as hopeless, and all were alike healed. Yes, and I see Jesus day by day saving such as man might reckon¬†beyond the reach of His saving arm.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30¬†

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit!

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Do not grieve the Holy Spirit!

(Thomas Charles, “The Operations of the Holy Spirit” 1838)

“Do you not know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?” 1 Corinthians 3:16¬†

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit¬†of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.” Ephesians 4:30¬†

See how great is the sin of grieving the Spirit.

We grieve Him, when we take little or no notice of His amazing condescension and love–in coming freely and willingly to be our Comforter and Sanctifier.

We grieve Him, when we make no returns of love to Him–by bringing forth in a holy walk and conduct, the fruits of the Spirit.

We grieve Him, when by careless neglect and unwatchfulness, we fall into those habits and courses which He abhors. 

He is grieved, because He loves us and has our happiness much at heart–for to promote our¬†holiness¬†and¬†happiness¬†is the object of His indwelling us. When we put obstructions in His way, and we promote our own misery–how is the Spirit of love grieved!

Let us therefore, above all things, attend to His motions, and beware of a barren and unfruitful profession of religion, and of defiling by secret indulgences–the temple and habitation of the Spirit.¬†

Shall we grieve Him who dwells with us as our Comforter? How unworthy–how base a conduct! Shall we, who have tasted that the Lord is gracious–by our negligence, sin and folly, grieve Him who has come on purpose to comfort us?¬†

Shall we grieve Him, without whom we cannot live, cannot think one good thought, nor breathe one good desire! 

Shall we grieve Him, whose presence in the soul is Heaven, and whose absence is a Hell of corruption, darkness, and misery! 

Is it possible that we should make such base returns for such love, and be such enemies to our own happiness! 

Alas! what is man! In what dust and ashes ought even the best of us to lie down before Him!

Shall we not rather take notice of His love and His kindness, and thankfully receive all our comforts from His hands, and observe His love and grace in every refreshing thought put into our minds? 

Yes, shall we not carefully watch and promote all His strivings and motions within us, and cheerfully comply with them, however self-denying and contrary to flesh and blood?

When He convinces of sin–let us set our hearts mightily against it. When He speaks comfort–let us hear Him as the Lord our Comforter, making known the riches of love and grace to our souls.¬†

An excessive anxiety about the innocent things of this life

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An excessive anxiety about the innocent things of this life

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

“Be on your guard, lest your hearts be weighed down with carousing, drunkenness, and¬†the cares of life–or that day will come on you unexpectedly like a trap!” Luke 21:34-35¬†

The exhortation before us should teach us¬†the great importance of an unworldly heart. The “cares of this life” are placed side by side with carousing and drunkenness.¬†

Excess in eating and drinking, is not the only excess which injures the soul. There is¬†an excessive anxiety about the innocent things of this life–which is just as ruinous to our spiritual prosperity, and just as poisonous to the soul.¬†

Never, never let us forget–that¬†we may make spiritual shipwreck on lawful things–as really and truly as on open vices! Happy is he who has learned to hold the things of this world with a loose hand, and to believe that seeking first the kingdom of God, “all other things shall be added to him!” Matthew 6:33

Sinners in Hell are not the fools they were on earth!

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Sinners in Hell are not the fools they were on earth!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Then He will say to those on His left: Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the¬†eternal fire¬†prepared for the devil and his angels!” Matthew 25:41

Sinners in Hell are not the fools they were on earth! 

In Hell, they do not laugh at everlasting burnings. 

In the pit, they do not despise the words, “eternal fire!”¬†

The worm that never dies, when it is gnawing, gnaws out all joke and laughter. 

You may despise and mock God now–but¬†death will change your note!¬†

“Remember, you can laugh your way into Hell–but you can never laugh your way out of Hell!”

“Then they will go away to¬†eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life!” Matthew 25:46

A glance into heavenly bliss!

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A glance into heavenly bliss!

(“Solitude Sweetened” by James Meikle, 1730-1799)

All at once I find myself in an unbounded flood of bliss, a spacious sea of glory–lost in wonder amidst ineffable delights, and transported with the raptures of seraphic harmony! While all His saints rejoice in His excellent glory–what ardor glows in every soul, and what rapture swells in every song! O the wondrous displays of His perfections–the manifestations of His goodness–the outlettings of His love!

Here we received out of His fullness–grace upon grace. and glory upon glory.¬†
Our heavenly possession is worthy of our liberal Giver. We have . . .
  a kingdom which cannot be moved,
  an undefiled inheritance, which does not fade away,
  a city with foundations, whose builder and maker is God,
  garments of glory,
  a crown of righteousness,
  the tree of life to feed upon,
  the fountain of life to drink of, 
  the garden of God to walk in,
  life above the reach of death,
  health secured from sickness, 
  eternal pleasure without pain! 

Our bodies are immortal, 
our souls are immaculate, 
our senses are sanctified, 
our conceptions are spiritualized, 
our faculties are enlarged, and 
our whole soul is glorious! 

Our past bliss is with us in the sweet remembrance, 
our present bliss enchants us in the enjoyment, and
our future bliss is present with us in the full assurance of our eternal felicity. 

Thus we are forever blessed to the highest degree. We are . . .
  above all fear,
  beyond anxiety and doubt,
  and fixed above all change!

Our service is sincere, 
our adorations are ardent, 
our knowledge is profound and satisfying. 

Rapture rushes in at every part!

Our eyes are ravished with seeing the King in His beauty;
our ears are ravished with hearing the songs of the inner temple;
our nostrils are ravished with the fragrance of the Rose of Sharon, the plant of renown; 
our feet are ravished with standing in His holy place; 
our hands are ravished with handling of the word of life; and 
our¬†mouths¬†are ravished¬†with the wine of our Beloved, which goes down sweetly–causing our souls to shout aloud, and our lips to sing and never cease.¬†

Our experience of His fullness, our vision of His perfections and glory–constitute our most exalted bliss, and are the heaven of heavens!

O what torrents of eternal love teem from the glorious throne into our souls! 

O the pleasure that is in His presence! 

O the exuberant rivers of joy that flow at His right hand! 

O love! never to be forgotten–which has brought me safely through so many winding labyrinths and crooked paths, in sight of so many enemies–in spite of . . .¬†
  a tempting devil, 
  the accusations of my sins,
  the rebellion of my lusts, 
  the carnality of my affections, and
¬† the weakness of all my graces–
to dwell at last forever in heavenly bliss!

O eternity! Once the comfort of our longing expectations–now the transport of our enlarged souls! For we are . . .
  forever with the Lord,
  beholding His unclouded face,
  wearing His divine name,
  drinking at the streams of His pleasures,
  eating of His hidden manna,
  sitting beneath the Tree of Life,
  basking under the beams of the Sun of Righteousness,
  singing hallelujahs to Him who loved us, who washed us from our sins in His blood, and brought us here to be with Him forever!

O state of complete happiness and consummate bliss!

We fritter away days, weeks, months!

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We fritter away days, weeks, months!

(J.R. Miller, “The Sacredness of Opportunity“)

“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” Ephesians 5:16¬†

Gather up the¬†fragments¬†that are left over. Let nothing be¬†wasted!” John 6:12

“Time is short!” 1 Corinthians 7:29

Time¬†is made up of¬†golden minutes–not one of which we should allow to be¬†wasted!¬†The Master said that for every idle¬†word¬†that men speak–they must give account. This can be no less true of idle¬†minutes¬†or¬†hours.¬†

Most of us live as if we had a thousand years to stay here in this world! We¬†loiter¬†away the golden hours of our little days–as if the days were never to end! We do not see how swiftly the sun is whirling toward his setting, while our work is but half done, our task perhaps scarcely begun!

We fritter away days, weeks, months–not noticing how¬†our¬†one little opportunity of living in this world¬†is being worn off, as the sea eats away a crumbling bank until its last shred is gone! We set¬†slight value¬†on time, forgetting that we have only a hand-breadth of it–and then comes eternity!

Many of us fail to appreciate the value of ‘single days’. “A day is too short a space,” we say, “that it cannot make much difference if one, just one, is¬†wasted–or¬†idled away!” Yet the days are¬†links in a chain, and if one link is broken–the chain is broken. In God’s plan for our life–each little day¬†has its own load of duty.¬†

How these¬†lost days¬†shame us–as they turn their reproachful eyes upon us, out of the irrevocable past!

Many people are¬†wasteful¬†of time. They fail to realize its¬†value. They appear to have time in such abundance–that they dream it can never end. They do not know that¬†a day lost–may mean misfortune or failure for them sometime in the future. They do not know that¬†squandered hours, minutes spent in¬†idleness–may cost them the true success of their life, bringing failure or disaster!¬†

They should not make the mistake of imagining they have so much time–that they can afford to let¬†days¬†or¬†hours¬†or even¬†minutes¬†be wasted. They cannot afford to lose¬†one golden minute¬†of any day. We do not know what momentous issues, affecting all our future–are involved in any quietest hour of any common-place day. There is¬†‘a time for everything’–but the¬†time is short, and when it is gone, and the thing is not done–it never can be done!

What you make of your life–you must make in a few years at the most; for the human span is short–and¬†any day may be your last one!¬†Every day that passes–leaves¬†life’s margin¬†a little less for each of us. Our¬†allotment of time¬†is ever shortening!

There are a great many things it is not worth our while to do. Some of us spend our days in poor trivialities which bless no one, and which will add no lustre to our crown. 

Therefore, waste no opportunity! Squander no moment! There is just time enough for you to live your life well–if you spend every moment of it in earnest, faithful duty. One hour lost–will leave a¬†flaw. A life thus lived in¬†unbroken diligence and faithfulness, will have¬†no regrets¬†when the¬†end¬†comes.

A high esteem of yourself?

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A high esteem of yourself?

(Charles Spurgeon)

A high esteem of yourself? 

You are not a mature Christian, if you have a high esteem of yourself. 

He who¬†boasts in himself¬†is but a babe in Christ–if indeed he is in Christ at all.¬†

Young Christians may think much of themselves. 

Growing Christians think themselves nothing. 

Mature Christians know that they are less than nothing. 

The more holy we are, the more we mourn our infirmities, and the humbler is our estimate of ourselves. 

“Though¬†I am nothing.” 2 Corinthians 12:11
“Although¬†I am less than the least¬†of all¬†God’s people . . .”¬† Ephesians 3:8¬†
“Christ Jesus came into the world to save¬†sinners–of whom¬†I am the worst.” 1 Timothy 1:15¬†
Wonderful was the grace that taught the once proud Pharisee thus to speak! 

Pride may be set down as “the sin” of human nature.

The demon of pride was born with us–and it will not die one hour before us!¬†

We are never so much in danger of being proud–as when we think we are humble.

There is no sin into which the heart of man so easily falls as pride–and yet there is no more vice which is more frequently, more emphatically, and more eloquently condemned in Scripture.¬†

We are all proud. Pride can hide under a beggar’s rags–as well as under a minister’s robes. Pride is a¬†weed¬†that will grow on a dunghill–as well as in a palace garden; but it ought never to be allowed to grow in the heart of a Christian!

No matter how dear you are to God–if pride is harbored in your heart, He will whip it out of you!

Among the wonders in Heaven, shall be these three

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Among the wonders in Heaven, shall be these three

(Charles Spurgeon)

Among the wonders in Heaven, shall be these three:

  The first wonder is that we shall see so many there, whom we did not expect to see. 
 
  The second is that we shall miss so many there, whom we did expect to see. 

¬† But the third wonder will be the greatest wonder of all–to see¬†ourselves¬†there!

        And can it be, that I should gain
¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† An interest in the Savior’s blood?
        Died He for me, who caused His pain?
        For me, who Him to death pursued?

        Amazing love! how can it be
        That Thou, my God, should die for me?
        Amazing love! how can it be
        That Thou, my God, should die for me?

        Tis mercy all, immense and free
        For O my God, it found out me!
        Amazing love! How can it be,
        That Thou, my God, should die for me?

He who believes shall be saved, be his sins ever so many

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He who believes shall be saved, be his sins ever so many

(Charles Spurgeon)

“He who¬†believes¬†in the Son has everlasting life!
¬†He who¬†does not believe¬†the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him!” John 3:36¬†

He who believes shall be saved, be his sins ever so many.
He who does not believe shall be damned, be his sins ever so few.
 
There is no sin which can damn the one who sincerely believes.
There is absolutely nothing which can save the one who does not believe.

“The¬†only¬†way to be saved is by faith in Christ. Apart from faith in Him–no one, anywhere, at any time, in any culture, at any period in history, at any age, is saved.”

We find that they are empty bubbles!

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We find that they are empty bubbles!

(J.C. Ryle)

“Do not love the¬†world¬†or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father but from the world!” 1 John 2:15-16¬†

The possession of the whole world and all that it contains, will never make a person happy. Its¬†pleasures¬†are false and deceptive! Its¬†riches,¬†rank, and¬†honors, have no power to satisfy the heart! So long as we have¬†not¬†got them–they glitter, sparkle, and seem desirable. The moment we have them–we find that they are empty bubbles, and cannot make us feel content!¬†

And, worst of all, when we possess this world’s good things to the utmost bound of our desire–we cannot keep them!¬†Deathcomes in and separates us from all our property forever! Naked we came upon earth, and naked we go forth–and of all our possessions, we can carry¬†nothing¬†with us.¬†

Such is the world, which occupies the whole attention of thousands! 

Such is the world, for the sake of which millions are every year destroying their souls!

“This world is¬†fading away, along with everything that people crave!” 1 John 2:17

Morality without Christ

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Morality without Christ

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3¬†

You moral and upright people without Christ–you are as surely lost as the despicable reprobate!¬†

You chaste and respectable people without Christ–you will be as surely damned as the vile prostitute who walks the streets at midnight!

“Unless you repent, you will all likewise perish!” Luke 13:3¬†

That very church which the world likes best!

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That very church which the world likes best!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“As God has said: I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people.¬†Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:16-18¬†

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

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

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

This is the greatest sight you will ever see!

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This is the greatest sight you will ever see!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“God made Him who had no sin, to be sin for us–so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21

Jesus has borne the penalty of sin on behalf of His people. 

Behold the wonder! 

There He hangs upon the cross! 

This is the greatest sight you will ever see!

Son of God and Son of Man–there He hangs, bearing unutterable pains, the just for the unjust, to bring us to God.¬†

Oh, the glory of that sight! 

The innocent One, punished! 
The Holy One, condemned! 
The ever-blessed One, made a curse! 
The infinitely glorious One, put to a shameful sin-atoning death! 

The worst days I have ever had!

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The worst days I have ever had!

(Charles Spurgeon)

The Lord gets His best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.

Great hearts can only be made by great troubles. 

The spade of trouble digs the reservoir of comfort deeper, and makes more room for consolation.

The Lord’s mercy often rides to the door of our heart, upon the black horse of affliction!

I bear my witness that the worst days I have ever had, have turned out to be my best days! And when God has seemed most unfriendly to me, He has then been most kind. If there is anything in this world for which I would bless Him more than for anything else, it is for pain and affliction. I am sure that in these things, the richest tenderest love has been manifested to me.

Our Father’s wagons rumble most heavily, when they are bringing us the richest freight of the bullion of His grace.¬†

Love letters from Heaven, are often sent in black-edged envelopes. 

The cloud that is black with horror, is big with mercy. Fear not the storm, it brings healing in its wings! 

When Jesus is with you in the vessel, the tempest only hastens the ship to its desired haven.

Great in mercy!

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Great in mercy!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“For as the heavens are high above the earth–so great is His mercy¬†toward those who fear Him!” Psalm 103:11¬†

His mercy is so great, that it forgives great sins to great sinners after great lengths of time–and then gives great favors and great privileges, and raises us up to great enjoyments in the great Heaven of the great God!

“The LORD is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and¬†great in mercy!” Psalm 145:8¬†

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