Tag Archives: Frank Hall

On our learning this lesson depends our comforting walk heavenward

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On our learning this lesson depends our comforting walk heavenward

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

When the Holy Spirit takes of the things of Christ and preaches them to the heart–oh, what a sweet peace follows! For the believer then finds himself saved from all the miseries of sin, and entitled to all the blessings of eternal glory.

Being thus persuaded of his safety by believing in the sin-atoning blood of our Great High Priest, the Holy Spirit then teaches him¬†how to live upon Christ, and how to make use of Christ’s fullness.¬†

On our learning this lesson depends our comforting walk heavenward. For Christ does not give us a stock of grace and expect us to improve it by being faithful to grace given. No, no, that is not His way. Our souls must depend upon Him, just as our bodies do upon the elements of this world. Every moment we must live by faith upon His fullness, and be every moment receiving out of it grace upon grace. 

And this is our happiness–to have all in Christ!

A beggar in myself, but rich with unsearchable eternal riches in Him. 

Ignorant still in myself, but led and taught by His unerring wisdom. 

A sinner still, but saved by His blood and righteousness. 

Weak and helpless still, but kept by His Almighty love.

Nothing but sorrow in myself, nothing but joy in Him. 

Oh, this is a blessed life!
 

No tongue can tell what a Heaven it is, thus to live by faith upon the Son of God. Thanks be to Him, that I do know a little of it. Surely I could not have thought, some years ago, that there was such a Heaven upon earth as I now find. May you find it more and more! Sweet Jesus keep you, my dear friend! 

Yours, 
William Romaine

God’s jewels are often found buried in the worst filth!

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God’s jewels¬†are often found buried in the¬†worst filth!

(James Smith, “Exhortation and Encouragement” 1859)

“One night the Lord spoke to Paul in a vision:¬†Do not be afraid; keep on speaking, do not be silent.¬†For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because¬†I have many people in this city.”¬†Acts 18:9-10¬†

What kind of a city was it?
Corinth was one of the most worldly and immoral cities of the east. Here was the temple of Venus, with its degrading and disgraceful services.

What kind of people were they?
“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¬†male prostitutes¬†nor¬†homosexual offenders¬†nor¬†thieves¬†nor the¬†greedy¬†nor¬†drunkards¬†nor¬†slanderers¬†norswindlers¬†will inherit the kingdom of God.¬†And that is what some of you were!¬†But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God!” 1 Corinthians 6:9-11.¬†
This is the apostle’s own reply to the question.

Observe: 

¬† 1.¬†The Lord’s people are often found in the most unlikely¬†places!¬†Who would have expected to find God’s chosen people–a¬†multitude¬†of them–in a place so foul, so polluted, so degraded, as Corinth?¬†
God’s jewels
 are often found buried in the worst filth!

¬†¬†¬†2.¬†The Lord chooses the most unlikely¬†people!¬†Who would ever have thought that the Lord would have chosen the sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, slanderers, swindlers–to be saved? But He did!¬†
God’s people
 are picked off the foulest dunghills!


O the wonders of sovereign grace!

From such folly deliver us, O Lord!

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From such folly deliver us, O Lord!

(Charles Spurgeon)

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

There are times when solitude is better than society, and silence is wiser than speech. We would be better Christians if we were more alone, waiting upon God, and gathering spiritual strength for labor in His service through meditation on His Word. We ought to muse upon the things of God, because we thus get the real nutriment for our souls out of them.

Truth is something like the cluster of the vine: if we would have wine from it, we must bruise it–we must press and squeeze it many times. The bruiser’s feet must come down repeatedly upon the grapes, or else the juice will not flow and much of the precious liquid will be wasted.¬†

So we must, by meditation, tread the clusters of truth, if we would get the wine of consolation therefrom.

Our bodies are not supported by merely taking food into the mouth, but the process which really supplies the muscles, and the nerves, and the sinews, and the bones–is the process of¬†digestion. It is by digestion that the food becomes assimilated with the inner life.¬†

In the same way, our souls are not nourished merely by listening awhile to this, and then to that, and then to the other part of divine truth. Hearing, reading, marking, and learning, all require inward digesting to complete their usefulness–and the inward digesting of the truth lies for the most part in¬†meditating¬†upon it.

Why is it that some Christians, although they hear many sermons, make but slow advances in the divine life? 
Because they neglect their closets, and do not thoughtfully meditate on God’s Word.¬†

They love the wheat, but they do not grind it; 
they would have the grain, but they will not go forth into the fields to gather it; 
the fruit hangs upon the tree, but they will not pluck it; 
the water flows at their feet, but they will not stoop to drink it. 
From such folly deliver us, O Lord!

May this be our daily resolve, “I will¬†meditate¬†in your precepts.”

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

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

“I have more insight than all my teachers, for I¬†meditate¬†on Your statutes.” Psalm 119:99

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

A rare creature!

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A rare creature! 

(Charles Spurgeon) 

I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that He considered me¬†faithful, appointing me to His service.” 1 Timothy 1:12¬†

A faithful preacher is a rare creature; and, like a diamond, as precious as he is rare!

If you always enjoy his sermons, that minister is not a faithful steward. He who gives out nothing but sweets is not acting wisely.

It is the duty of the Christian pastor, if he would make full proof of his ministry to warn men of the results of sin to tell them that there is a judgment that for every idle word they speak they will have to account. 

Some preachers do not preach of eternal wrath and its terrors. This is cruel, for they ruin souls by hiding from them their ruin! 

The object of all true preaching is the heart. Godly ministers aim at divorcing the heart from sin, and wedding it to Christ. 

“If you point these things out to the brothers, you will be¬†a good minister¬†of Christ Jesus brought up in the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed.” 1 Timothy 4:6¬†

He can extract pleasure out of pain!

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He can extract pleasure out of pain!

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

Dear friend,
He loves you more than you can possibly love yourself; and He will send you nothing but what is for your real and best interest, and He will let you find it so. His love is almighty, and it is unchangeable. What can He not do, what will He not do, when His heart is set upon blessing His people!

He does all things well! Yes, He intends to do better for you, far better than you can even imagine! 

It is a common thing with Him to bring spiritual good out of temporal evil. He can extract pleasure out of pain! Yes, He can enrich by impoverishing; and turn losses into gain. To you it is now given, as a matter of His choice favor, not only to believe on Him, but also to be conformed to Him by bearing His cross. This He is aiming at. 

His Providence is wisely designed and sovereignly sent for our good!

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His Providence is wisely designed and sovereignly sent for our good!

(Don Fortner)

As a wise, skilled pharmacist mixes medicine–so our heavenly Father wisely mixes exactly the right measure of bitter things and sweet, to do us good.¬†

Too much joy would intoxicate us. 
Too much misery would drive us to despair. 

Too much sorrow would crush us. 
Too much suffering would break our spirits. 

Too much pleasure would ruin us. 
Too much defeat would discourage us. 

Too much success would puff us up.
Too much failure would keep us from doing anything. 

Too much criticism would harden us. 
Too much praise would exalt us. 

Our great God knows exactly what we need. 

His Providence is wisely designed and sovereignly sent for our good!

Let God send and do whatever He wills–by His grace, if we are His, we will face it, bow to it, accept it, and give thanks for it. God’s Providence is always executed in the ‘wisest manner’ possible. We are often unable to see and understand the reasons and causes for specific events in our lives, in the lives of others, or in the history of the world. But our lack of understanding does not prevent us from believing God.

“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¬†

O, give thanks to the Lord!

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O, give thanks to the Lord! 

(James Smith, “Sunny Subjects for All Seasons” 1858)

“O, give¬†thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His mercy endures forever!” 1 Chronicles 16:34¬†

O, give thanks to the Lord, Christian, for He has not dealt with you after your sins, nor rewarded you according to your iniquities! He has . . .
  pardoned your sins,
  justified your soul,
  renewed your nature, and
  given you a title to everlasting life!

He has thus . . .
  prevented your eternal ruin,
  borne with your faults and follies,
  supplied all your needs,
  guided your steps, and
  promised to conduct you to glory!
His mercy has been ever great toward you!

“O, give thanks to the¬†LORD, for He is good!¬†For His mercy endures forever!”¬†Psalm 107:1

Thus He will make the soul enamored with Jesus!

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Thus He will make the soul enamored with Jesus!

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

“When the¬†Comforter¬†comes . . . He will testify about Me.” John 15:26¬†

He shall testify to My person as self-existent Jehovah.

He shall bear witness to My work as the perfect sin-atoner. 

He shall testify of My grace, how free it is, how full it is. 

He shall enable the sinner, any poor wretch, however vile in his own eyes–to trust his soul into the hands of Jesus. And having enabled the sinner to do this, then He will testify of Jesus, that He has received him, that he is safe in the arms and may be happy in the enjoyment of Jesus’ love.¬†

Thus He will make the soul enamored with Jesus! There will appear such consummate beauty, such infinite loveliness in His precious person, as will eclipse the glory of all other lovers. There will appear such true happiness in fellowship with Him, as will quite dethrone all former idols.

And when the foolish heart would depart, the¬†Comforter¬†will not let it. Then will He testify of Jesus, “To whom would you go? Who has eternal life to give, but Him? Turn, turn again to your rest, oh my soul.”¬†

If the soul is mourning; He will testify of the joy that is in Jesus. 

If the soul is burdened; “Cast the burden,” He says, “on your Lord Jesus.”¬†

If the soul has lost any creature comfort; “Let it go,” He says, “Jesus is still your salvation and your great reward.”¬†

If the soul is grieved with indwelling sin; “It is pardoned,” He says, “you are free from the curse of sin.”¬†

Whatever the needs of the believer are, the Spirit’s office is to testify of Jesus: “Jesus is what you need–and you have Him freely.”¬†

The¬†Comforter¬†will keep you by His almighty power, until He brings you to the Heaven of heavens–the sight and enjoyment of dear Jesus, eternally dear and lovely Jesus!¬†

He puts a finger upon the scar!

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He puts a finger upon the scar!

(Thomas Watson)

“Our¬†Father¬†in Heaven.” Matthew 6:9

Since God is our Father–He will take notice of the least good He sees in His children.¬†

If there is but a¬†sigh for sin–He hears it.¬†
“My groaning is not hidden from You.” Psalm 38:9¬†

If there is but a¬†penitential tear¬†which comes out of the eye–He sees it.¬†
“I have seen your tears.” Isaiah 38:5¬†

If there is but a¬†good intention–He takes notice of it.¬†
“Since it was your¬†desire¬†to build a temple for My name, you have done well to have this desire.” 1 Kings 8:18

God takes notice of the¬†least spark of grace¬†in His children. “Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord.” 1 Peter 3:6. The Holy Spirit does not mention Sara’s unbelief, or laughing at the promise.¬†He puts a finger upon the scar–and only takes notice of the good that was in her.

More, that good which the saints scarcely take notice of in themselves, God in a special manner observes. “I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty and you gave Me something to drink. Then the righteous will answer Him–Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink?” They as it were, overlooked and disclaimed their own works of charity! But Christ takes notice of them, “I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat.” Matthew 25

What comfort is this! God spies the least good in His children! 
He can see a grain of corn, hidden under much chaff. 
He can see a little grace, hidden under much corruption!

Those¬†duties¬†which we ourselves censure–He will crown. When a child of God looks over his best duties, he sees so much sin cleaving to them that he is confounded. “Lord,” he says, “there is more¬†sulphur¬†than¬†incense, in my prayers.”¬†

But for your comfort, if God is your Father, He will crown those duties which you yourselves censure. He sees there is sincerity in the hearts of His children. Though there may be many defects in the services of His children, He will not cast away their offering.

An earthly father kindly receives a letter from his young child–though there are blots and bad spelling in it.¬†What blottings are there in our holy things!¬†Yet our Father in Heaven accepts them. “It is my child!”¬†God says,¬†“I will look upon him, through Christ–with a merciful eye!”

This is mercy!

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This is mercy!

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

“But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to Heaven, but was beating his chest, saying: God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” Luke 18:13

“He redeems your life from destruction; He crowns you with lovingkindness and tender mercies!” Psalm 103:4¬†
My dear friend,What thanks ought we to give to our gracious Lord for all of His mercies to us! 
I can look back upon every part of my life, and upon it all I can write, “This is mercy!”¬†
Oh, it is all, from first to last, to those who are chosen and called and believe and live by faith in the Son of God, MERCY–from everlasting to everlasting! Mercy before time, mercy in time, mercy beyond time!
Where is the fountainhead, the spring of this mercy? What gives rise to it? Nothing but the sovereign grace and free love of the purpose and heart of God Himself. 
But on whom do the streams of this fountain flow with their quickening, comforting, sanctifying, glorifying streams? 
On the miserable sinner, and none else; for none else are the objects of mercy. On such as you and me! Mercy has made a rich provision . . .  to supply all our needs,  to pardon all our sins,  to save us from all punishment,  to entitle us to all glory!
“I will sing of the mercies of the LORD for ever!” Psalm 89:1¬†
“Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God.” Romans 12:1¬†

There are more lies told at funerals!

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There are more lies told at funerals!

(Curtis Knapp, 2012)

Have you ever noticed that no matter how wicked a person was in his life, he becomes a saint at his funeral?

In reality, he was a bad father, but at his funeral he becomes a great father in the eulogy given by his estranged children. In reality, he was a bad husband, but suddenly, he is a great husband. In reality he was a very bad person, but suddenly everyone talks about what a good person he was.

He was never in church, but suddenly he is a great Christian man. The minister strains awkwardly to speak glowingly about the man he didn’t know and hardly ever saw. In life, he was primarily noted for his wicked works, but suddenly upon his death he is known as a man of many good works.

In short, they lie! There are more lies told at funerals than perhaps at any other occasion, and that’s the way people want it. If the minister did anything other than lie, the family and friends would be outraged!

God is the only one worthy of a eulogy at a funeral, but no one offers a eulogy to God. Instead, they offer lying eulogies for the sinner who is most likely in Hell at that moment. Think about that. The sinner has already arrived at his permanent dwelling place in Hell. He is weeping and gnashing his teeth and writhing in agony in the flames. He is begging for just one drop of cool water for his tongue, but receives no mercy.

God is not impressed with this wicked man. God sees no good in him.

The inhabitants of Hell are not impressed with him. They don’t care about the time he helped an old lady across the street, and the time he gave money to a charitable organization. They don’t think he is or ever was a good person. They don’t like him and want nothing to do with him.

And yet at this very moment, on earth, in a church or funeral home somewhere–the man’s family and the minister are talking about what a wonderful person he was and how he has gone to a better place!

Have you ever noticed how no one goes to Hell–at least no one you know? When have you been at a funeral at which the minister and family did not conspire together to convince themselves and everyone else that the departed sinner was in Heaven?

Jesus taught us that the road to Heaven was narrow, and said that few find it. Conversely, He taught that the road to destruction was broad, and that many were on it. Yet, according to our funerals, Jesus was wrong. No one is in Hell–everyone is in Heaven! Have you ever noticed that all you have to do to get to Heaven is to die? Instead of believing in justification by faith alone, most people believe in justification by death alone. Death is all that is necessary to be transformed miraculously from a depraved wretch into a shining angel.

Why do we do this? Why do we lie? Ministers often do it because they are afraid not to. Many lie because they are false prophets who deceive people, and a funeral is the perfect opportunity to say “Peace, peace!” when there is no peace.

Some family members lie because they are grasping for some piece of comfort in their loss. But consider: Is grasping at a lie truly comforting?

I suspect that most people play this game of falsehood for selfish reasons. If they eulogize the deceased, then they will also feel better about the state of their own souls. If the departed sinner went to Heaven–then they will surely go to Heaven when they die as well. If everyone is a good person and going to Heaven–then we don’t have to worry about our own spiritual condition.

We hate death. We hate to be reminded of our weakness and our fleeting time here. We don’t like to think about what happens after death. We don’t want to consider that there might be a Hell, and we certainly don’t want to hear that most people go there. We don’t want to ponder those realities, but funerals force us to do so. So we fight back against death and reality by laboring hard to convince ourselves that everyone who dies goes to Heaven.

What does it accomplish? Nothing!
Is God deceived? No!
Will our lies change God’s mind? No!
Will our lies get us to Heaven? No!

I am not saying that I think ministers should stand up at funerals and declare with certainty that the departed person is in Hell. But, when the person’s life gives us little confidence that he or she is in Heaven, it would be far better to remain silent about the eternal destiny of the lost one than to boldly declare that the person is in Heaven. Oh for some honesty in our days!

“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

Tis but a taste!

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Tis but a taste!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“A pledge of our¬†inheritance.” Ephesians 1:14

Oh! what enlightenment, what joys, what consolation, what delight of heart–is experienced by that man who has learned to feed on Jesus, and on Jesus alone.¬†

Yet the realization which we have of Christ’s preciousness is, in this life, imperfect at the best. As an old writer says, “Tis but a taste!” We have but tasted “that the Lord is gracious,” but we do not yet know¬†how¬†good and gracious He is. We know somewhat of His sweetness, and this makes us long for more.¬†We have enjoyed the first fruits–and they have set us hungering and thirsting for the fullness of the heavenly vintage.¬†Here on earth, we are like Israel in the wilderness, who had but one cluster from Eshcol–there we shall be in the vineyard!

We are but beginners now in spiritual education; for although we have learned the first¬†letters¬†of the alphabet, we cannot read¬†words¬†yet, much less can we put¬†sentences¬†together. As one says, “He who has been in heaven but five minutes–knows more than all the theologians on earth combined!”

We have many ungratified spiritual desires at present–but soon every wish shall be satisfied; and all our powers shall find the sweetest employment in that eternal world of joy.

O Christian, within a very little time you shall be rid of all your trials and your troubles. 
Your eyes which are now suffused with tears, shall weep no longer.
You shall gaze in ineffable rapture upon the splendor of Him who sits on His glorious throne. 
Nay, more–you shall sit¬†with Him¬†upon His throne!¬†

The triumph of His glory shall be shared by you! His crown, His joy, His paradise–these shall be yours!¬†
You shall be co-heir with Him who is the heir of all things! 

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an¬†inheritance¬†that can never perish, spoil or fade–reserved in Heaven for you!” 1 Peter 1:3-4¬†

I need to be daily kept!

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I need to be daily kept!

(James Smith’s¬†autobiography,¬†“Marvelous Mercy!”¬†1862)

The following in an excerpt from the diary of James Smith:

April 16, 1854. 
During the past week I have had one of the most severe asthmatic attacks I ever experienced. How painful to labor and gasp for breath, as I then did. How different the things of time appear under such circumstances! How soon one feels willing to spread the wings and fly away. May I daily live under the impression I then felt. 

How I long . . .
  for closer communion with God, 
  to feel more of the sweet power of piety in my own heart, 
  to walk with God in confidence, 
  to lean upon Him, 
  to cast every care upon Him, 
  to leave everything with Him, 
  to aim always, and in everything to glorify Him, 
¬† to walk through the world as if one was walking straight home to God–to dwell with and to enjoy Him forever!

Yet I feel that¬†I need to be daily¬†kept–to have the Lord’s¬†eye¬†constantly upon me, and His everlasting¬†arms¬†always beneath me!¬†

“Hold me up–and I shall be safe!”¬†Psalm 119:117

The worst part of you!

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The worst part of you!

(Daniel de Superville, 1657‚Äď1728)

People often say,¬†“I have my faults, but at the bottom I have a good heart.”

A good heart! Alas! it is this that deceives you, for your heart is the worst part of you!

“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked!
¬†Who really knows how bad it is?” Jeremiah 17:9¬†

The politicians, the philosophers, the sages of the world, are all shams!
What have they done toward the cure of the human heart?

Blessed be God! We recover more by the second Adam, than we lost by the first!

“I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean;
 I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols.
 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;
 I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.
¬†I will put My Spirit in you and cause you to follow My decrees and be careful to keep My laws.”¬†
    Ezekiel 36:25-27 

Let this comfort you:

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Let this comfort you:

(Letters of John Newton)

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

What a mercy it is that all our concerns are in sure hands! Not a hair of our heads can fall to the ground, but by the appointment of Him who orders and marshals the stars and calls them all by their names!

Diseases and sicknesses are¬†His messengers, and, when they have answered His end–then He will recall them. But on many accounts there is a¬†need be¬†that we should sometimes be in heaviness for a season. O may we learn to take up the cross, and to kiss the rod of affliction. We need to look through all¬†second causes–to Him who appoints and over-rules, and without whose permission, not a hair of our heads shall fall to the ground.¬†

The Lord has promised to direct, moderate, sanctify, and relieve every trial of every kind. I long to have a more entire submission to His will, and a more steadfast confidence in His Word–to trust Him and wait on Him–to see His hand, and praise His name, in every circumstance of life, great and small.

Is¬†sickness¬†your present cross? It can come no sooner, nor fall heavier, than He bids it. And when His end is answered, and His hour comes to give relief–then sickness departs at His word. The cure becomes easy then, even where it seemed desperate before.¬†

Our comforts are never safer than when we can fully trust the Lord to do with them, and with us–as He sees fit. He will not willingly or unnecessarily grieve His redeemed children. When His arm seems lifted up to strike them–how often does He put it into their hearts to run toward Him and humble themselves before Him, and thus prevent the blow!

We shall have cause to be thankful for all our afflictions–if the Lord is pleased to employ them as means to make us more humble and broken-hearted, and to wean our hearts from this vain world.

Sickness often gives us a sensible proof of the vanity of everything earthly. May the Lord sanctify our sicknesses and pains, to quicken our desires for that better world, when pain shall be no more!

Let this comfort you: that Jesus is the Great Physician! 

“Great crowds came to Him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at His feet; and He healed them!” Matthew 15:30¬†

The throne of grace

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The throne of grace

(Henry Law, “Family Prayers”)

Holy, holy, holy Lord God Almighty, Heaven and earth are full of Your glory! Blessing and honor and glory and power be to You, O Father of mercies, O God of all grace and love.

We thank You, that, as vile and sin-soiled as we are–we may come into Your immediate presence, and hold this converse with You, and commune with You concerning all our¬†concerns, all our¬†sins, and¬†fears,¬†and¬†hopes¬†and¬†desires.¬†

We are astonished that we, poor sinners on earth, may speak directly to You–our great¬†and glorious God, on Your throne in the Heaven of heavens! How wondrous the thought that¬†our poor breathings¬†may fly on the¬†wings of faith, and have instant access to the ears of Your grace!¬†

We thank You that, in the multitude of Your tender mercies and the riches of Your pitiful compassion, You have been pleased to erect this throne of grace before which we now most humbly bow. We bless You that here, free grace reigns. We bless You that, at all times and in all places, we have open access to You through the blood of Your dear Son. 

We bless You that the veil is open, and that in His great name we may ever approach and find You . . .
  ready to hear,  
  waiting to be gracious, 
  arrayed in smiles of love,  
  bidding us to touch the scepter of Your sovereign mercy,  
  inviting us to pour out every need and desire of our hearts,  
  and promising to give more than we can ask or think.

Grant, oh grant, that we may be wholly consecrated to You. May we, in spirit, soar far above earth. May our hearts be fast barred against admission of worldly thoughts or cares. Send Your peace, passing all understanding, as a flood into our anxious minds.  May our meditations of You be sweet. May we drink deeply of the refreshing streams proceeding out of Your throne. May we feast on the heaven-sent manna of Your precious Word, and thus gather strength for the upward race.

Hear us, answer us, bless us we pray. All we ask is in Jesus’ name, and for Jesus’ sake. Amen.

“Therefore let us approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” Hebrews 4:16 ¬†

The supplies of His grace and mercy are unexhausted and exhaustless!

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The supplies of His grace and mercy are unexhausted and exhaustless!

(Thomas Guthrie, 1803-1873)

“Fear the¬†LORD, you His saints,¬†for those who fear Him lack nothing.”¬†Psalm 34:9

Myriads of leaves clothe the forest, 
myriads of flowers bespangle the meadow, 
myriads of insects dance in the sunbeams, 
myriads of birds sing in the woodlands, 
myriads of fish swim in stream and ocean, 
myriads of¬†stars¬†glitter in the nightly sky–
and every leaf is as perfect in form, 
every flower is as beautiful in colors, 
every living creature is fashioned with such skill, and 
every burning star is guided through space with as much care–
as if it engrossed the entire attention of God, and there was not another but itself within the bounds of His universe!

The number of objects our hearts can hold, or our arms embrace, or our eyes watch–is limited; confined within a narrow range–they are¬†small¬†at the largest, and¬†few¬†at the most.¬†

It is not so with Him who is mighty to save, abundant in goodness and truth. The supplies of His grace and mercy are unexhausted and exhaustless! Their type shines in that SUN which for six thousand years has shed its light . . .
  on seas and continents,
  on crowded cities and lonely solitudes,
  on burning deserts and fields of ice,
  on palaces and cottages,
  on ragged beggars and sceptered kings,
  on all countries and classes of men.
And with fires fed we know not how, the sun shines today as bright as ever–his eye not dim, nor his natural strength abated!

And as this is but an image, and a faint image, of God–then well may his servant assure us, that there shall be no lack to those who fear Him. None–neither for the body nor the soul; neither for time nor eternity!

“My God will meet all your needs according to¬†His glorious riches¬†in Christ Jesus!”¬†Philippians 4:19¬†

“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the¬†riches of God’s grace that He lavished on us¬†with all wisdom and understanding.” Ephesians 1:7-8¬†

“In the coming ages He might show the¬†incomparable riches of His grace, expressed in His kindness to us in Christ Jesus!” Ephesians 2:7¬†

Look up today, O parched plant!

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Look up today, O parched plant!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“I will send down showers in season; there will be¬†showers of blessing.” Ezekiel 34:26

Here is¬†sovereign¬†grace, “I¬†will send down showers.” Is this not sovereign, divine mercy–for who can say, “I¬†will send down showers,” except God? There is only one voice which can speak to the clouds, and bid them beget the rain. “Who sends down the¬†rain¬†upon the earth? Who scatters the¬†showers¬†upon the green herb? Do not I, the Lord?”¬†
Grace is the gift of God–and is not to be created by man.¬†

It is also¬†needed¬†grace. What would the ground do without showers? You may break the clods, you may sow your seeds–but what can you do without the rain? As absolutely needful is the¬†divine¬†blessing. In vain you labor, until God bestows the plenteous shower, and sends salvation down.¬†

Then, it is¬†plenteous¬†grace. “I will send down¬†showers.” It does not say, “I will send them¬†drops,” but “showers.” So it is with grace. If God gives a blessing, He usually gives it in such a measure that there is not room enough to receive it. Plenteous grace! Ah! we need plenteous grace . . .
  to keep us humble,
  to make us prayerful,
  to make us holy, 
  to make us zealous,
  to preserve us through this life,
  and at last to land us in Heaven! 
We cannot do without saturating showers of grace. 

Again, it is¬†seasonable¬†grace. “I will send down showers¬†in season.”¬†
What is your season this morning? 
Is it the season of drought? Then that is the season for showers. 
Is it a season of great heaviness and black clouds? Then that is the season for showers. 
“As your days–so shall your strength be.”¬†

And here is a¬†varied¬†grace. “I will give you showers¬†of blessing.” The word is in the plural. All kinds of blessings God will send. All God’s blessings go together, like links in a golden chain. If He gives¬†converting¬†grace–He will also give¬†comforting¬†grace. He will send “showers of blessing.”¬†

Look up today, O parched plant, and open your leaves and flowers for a heavenly watering! 

What trash does it appear!

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What trash does it appear! 

(Mary Winslow) 

“The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever!” 1 John 2:17¬†

What a brittle thing is all the glory, wealth, and honor of this vain world! How empty, and what trash does it appear! And yet men sell their souls to grasp it, and at last pass away from it and find it all a phantom. How unceasing is Satan in forever bringing it before our eyes, in some form or other! What is all the pomp and wealth and rank of this poor fleeting world, in contrast with the glory that shall soon be revealed in all those who love His appearing?

“The spirit of the world is eating out the very heart and life of true godliness!”¬†George Everard

Refined worldliness¬†is the present snare of the Church of God!”¬†Horatius Bonar

“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¬†

Discontent!

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Discontent!

(Arthur Pink, “Comfort for Christians”)

“I have learned to be¬†content¬†whatever the circumstances.” Philippians 4:11¬†

Contentment¬†is the being satisfied with the sovereign dispensations of God’s providence. It is the opposite of murmuring, which is the spirit of rebellion–the¬†clay¬†saying to the¬†Potter, “Why have You made me thus?” Instead of complaining at his lot–a contented man is thankful that his condition and circumstances are no worse than they are.¬†

Discontent!¬†Was there ever a time when there was so much discontent and restlessness in the world, as there is today? We very much doubt it. Despite our boasted progress, the vast increase of wealth, the time and money expended daily in pleasure–discontent is everywhere! No class is exempt. Everything is in a state of flux, and almost everybody is dissatisfied. Many even among God’s own people are affected with the evil spirit of this age.

Contentment!¬†Is such a thing realizable, or is it nothing more than a beautiful ideal, a mere dream of the poet? Is it attainable on earth, or is it restricted to the inhabitants of Heaven? If feasible here and now–may it be retained, or are a few brief moments or hours of contentment the most that we may expect in this life?

The force of Paul’s statement will be better appreciated, if his condition and circumstances at the time he made it, are kept in mind. When the apostle wrote the words, he was not luxuriating in a special suite in the Emperor’s palace–but was in prison “in chains”. The contentment which Paul enjoyed, was not the result of congenial and comfortable surroundings. Most people suppose that contentment is impossible, unless one can have the desires of the carnal heart gratified. A prison is the last place to which they would go, if they were seeking a contented man. This much, then, is clear–contentment comes from within and not without; it must be sought from God, not in creature comforts.

Now, there is a vast difference between precept and practice, between the ideal and the realization. But in the case of Paul, contentment was an actual experience! It was something he had learned in the school of Christian experience.

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be¬†content¬†with what you have, because God has said–Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” Hebrews 13:5

God is too kind to punish the ungodly!

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God is too kind to punish the ungodly!

(A.W. Tozer)

God’s justice stands forever against the unrepentant sinner in utter severity!

The vague and tenuous hope that¬†God is too kind to punish the ungodly¬†has become¬†a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions!¬†It hushes their fears and allows them to practice all kinds of iniquity–while damnation draws every day nearer, and the command to repent goes unregarded. As responsible moral beings, we dare not so trifle with our eternal future!

“On the wicked He will rain fiery coals and burning sulfur; a scorching wind will be their lot!” Psalm 11:6¬†

“Woe to the wicked! Disaster is upon them!” Isaiah 3:11¬†

“They always heap up their sins to the limit. But wrath has come upon them to the utmost!” 1 Thessalonians 2:16¬†

“They called 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?” Revelation 6:16-17¬†

“He, too, will drink of the wine of God’s fury, which has been poured full strength into the cup of His wrath. He will be tormented with burning sulfur in the presence of the holy angels and of the Lamb!” Revelation 14:10¬†

A subtle leaven which the heart is always ready to receive!

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A subtle leaven which the heart is always ready to receive!

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

“Beware of the¬†leaven of the Pharisees–which is¬†hypocrisy. For there is nothing¬†covered¬†that will not be revealed, nor¬†hidden¬†that will not be made known.” Luke 12:1-2

The first thing that demands our attention in these verses, is¬†Christ’s warning against hypocrisy.¬†

This is a warning of which the importance can never be overrated. It was delivered by our Lord more than once, during His earthly ministry. It was intended to be a standing caution to His whole church in every age, and in every part of the world. 

It was meant to remind us that¬†the principles of the Pharisees are deeply ingrained in human nature–and that Christians should be always on their guard against them. Hypocrisy is¬†a¬†subtle leaven¬†which the heart is always ready to receive!¬†It is a leaven which once received into the heart, infects the whole character of a man’s Christianity. Of this leaven, says our Lord, in words that should often ring in our ears–of this leaven,¬†beware!

Let us ever nail this caution in our memories, and bind it on our hearts. The plague is around us on every side! The danger is at all times. What is the essence of Romanism, and formalism, and ceremonialism? What is it all, but the leaven of the Pharisees under one shape or another? The Pharisees are not extinct! Pharisaism lives still.

If we would not become Pharisees–then let us cultivate a ‘heart religion’. Let us realize daily that the God with whom we have to do, looks far below the outward surface of our profession, and that He measures us by the state of our hearts. Let us be¬†real¬†and¬†true¬†in our Christianity. Let us abhor all part-acting, and affectation, and semblance of devotion–put on for public occasions, but not really felt within.¬†

Our hypocrisy may deceive man, and get us the reputation of being very religious–but it cannot deceive God. “For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, nor hidden that will not be made known.”¬†

Whatever we are in religion–let us never wear a cloak or a mask of religion.

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

I desire that this may be the text at my funeral

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“The Aged Christian’s Final Farewell to the World and its Vanities” John Whitson, 1558-1629)

I desire that this may be the text at my funeral: Psalm 42:2, “My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?”

Oh! when shall I ascend to the eternal throne of blessedness, where no comforts are lacking?

When shall I be covered with the glorious robe of immortality, and shine in the brightness of my Redeemer’s innocence?

When shall I behold the lovely face of my Lord and dwell in the courts of His holy temple, where . . .
all tears shall be wiped away from my eyes,
all sorrows removed from my heart,
and all sins and spots are done away?

Where I shall exchange the dross of this world, for true and durable riches!

Where, instead of these earthly riches which moth and rust corrupt–I shall enjoy the heavenly riches of perfect peace and good conscience, never to be lost!

Instead of these false and flattering honors, I shall enjoy everlasting glory, and be admitted into the fellowship of my Redeemer to reign with Him in His glorious kingdom!

Instead of vain and momentary pleasures, I shall be filled with fullness of joy and be ravished with those delights which neither eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor has it entered into the heart of man to conceive!

Instead of this dark and cloudy knowledge, I shall have my heart enlightened with the beams of the true light!

Instead of this feeble strength, I shall be endowed with the might of angels!

Instead of this transitory health, I shall enjoy a powerful and immortal vigor!

Instead of this fading beauty, I shall be adorned with the loveliness of Christ’s spouse!

Instead of long life, I shall be crowned with life eternal!

We shall sing, Holy! Holy! Holy! Lord God almighty! Heaven and Earth are full of your glory. Glory be to You, O Lord, most High.

And now, as the deer pants for the water-brooks, so longs my soul after You, O God!
O that I had wings like a dove, that I might fly away and be at rest!
For whom have I in Heaven but You–and who is there upon earth that I desire but You?
My heart and my strength fail me, but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion forever!

The sweetest and the loudest note in our songs of praise should be . . .

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The sweetest and the loudest note in our songs of praise should be . . .

(Charles Spurgeon) 

“O that we would praise the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to men.” Psalm 107:8

If we¬†complained¬†less and¬†praised¬†more–we would be happier, and God would be more glorified.¬†

Let us daily praise God for¬†common mercies. They are¬†common¬†as we frequently call them, and yet so¬†priceless, that when deprived of them–we imagine that we are ready to perish! Let us bless God . . .
  for the eyes with which we behold the sun;
  for the health and strength to walk abroad;
  for the bread we eat;
  for the clothing we wear;
  for public and religious liberty;
  for friends and family associations; and
  for countless other comforts and blessings. 

Let us praise Him, in fact, for everything which we receive from His bounteous hand; for we deserve little, and yet are most plenteously endowed. 

But beloved,¬†the sweetest and the loudest note in our songs of praise should be¬†of¬†redeeming love!¬†God’s redeeming acts towards His chosen people, are forever the favorite themes of their praise. If we know what redemption means, let us not withhold our sonnets of thanksgiving.

We have been redeemed from the power of our corruptions, and uplifted from the depth of sin in which we were naturally plunged. 

We have been led to the cross of Christ, and our shackles of guilt have been broken off.

We are no longer slaves of sin–but children of the living God.

We shall shortly be presented before the eternal throne without spot or wrinkle or any such thing. 

Shall we not unceasingly give thanks to the Lord our Redeemer? 

Child of God, can you be silent? 

Awake, awake, O inheritors of eternal glory, and cry out with David, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me–bless His holy name!”

You are absolutely beautiful, My beloved!

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You are absolutely beautiful, My beloved!

(Charles Spurgeon) 

You are absolutely beautiful, My beloved!¬†There is no spot in you!” Song of Solomon 4:7¬†

The Lord’s admiration of His Church is very astonishing, and His description of her beauty is very glowing. She is not merely¬†beautiful–but “absolutely beautiful.” He views her in Himself, washed in His sin-atoning blood, and clothed in His meritorious righteousness–thus He considers her to be full of loveliness and beauty. No wonder that such is the case–since it is but His own perfect excellency that He admires; for the holiness, glory, and perfection of His Church–are His own glorious garments on the back of His own well-beloved spouse!

Nor is the Church¬†barely¬†lovely, she is¬†superlatively¬†so. Her Lord styles her the “most beautiful of women.” Song of Solomon 1:8¬†

She has a real worth and excellence which cannot be rivaled by all the nobility and royalty of the world. If Jesus could exchange His elect bride for all the angels in Heaven–He would not, for He puts her first and foremost, “most beautiful of women.” She far outshines the stars!

Nor is this an opinion which He is ashamed of, for He invites all men to hear it. He sets a “behold” before it, a special note of exclamation, inviting and arresting attention. “Behold! How beautiful you are, My beloved, how beautiful!” (Song of Solomon 4:1). His opinion He publishes abroad even now, and one day from the throne of His glory He will avow the truth of it before the assembled universe.¬†“Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, and come with Me!”¬†will be His solemn affirmation of the loveliness of His elect!

“Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her ¬†to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the Word,¬†and to present her to Himself as¬†a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless!”Ephesians 5:25-27¬†

“The king is enthralled by your beauty!”¬†Psalm 45:11¬†

Extremely derogatory to human pride!

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Extremely derogatory to human pride! 

(Stephen Tyng, “Christ is All”)¬†

“In his¬†pride, the wicked does not seek God; in all his thoughts, there is no room for God!” Psalm 10:4¬†

Sin has entirely perverted the nature of man. 

The carnal mind is opposed to God in its . . . 
  judgments, 
  tastes, 
  desires,
  pursuits. 

God demands that guilty man . . . 
   sacrifice his own imaginary independence, 
   renounce his own fancied excellence, and 
   acknowledge his personal unworthiness, 
before he can be received into the family of God. 

Such demands seem extremely derogatory to human pride. For this reason, multitudes reject all the offers of the Gospel, and treat with contempt those who yield to the invitations which they themselves despise, and submit to the motives which they renounce, as deluded and degraded people.

“The day is coming when¬†your pride will be brought low¬†and the Lord alone will be exalted.” Isaiah 2:11

“The Lord Almighty has done it to¬†destroy your pride¬†and show His contempt for all human greatness.” Isaiah 23:9

The Lord detests all the proud of heart. Be sure¬†of this: They will not go unpunished.” Proverbs 16:5

This makes us prize the gospel, embrace the Savior, and fly to His cross!

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This makes us prize the gospel, embrace the Savior, and fly to His cross!

(Letters of John Berridge, 1716-1793)

Dear Sir, 
In November I gathered strength enough to preach, and through mercy have continued preaching ever since. For the last month I have shared with my neighbors in a bad cold, which has kept me wheezing and coughing, and pulled me down, but not laid me up. 

Oh, how needful is the¬†furnace, both to reveal our dross, and to purge it away! How little do we know of ourselves, of the pride, sensuality, and idolatry of our hearts–until the Lord lays us on a bed of suffering, and searches all our inward parts with His candles. My heart, I knew, was bad enough, but I scarcely thought there was half the baseness in it which I find, and yet I know not half its plague!¬†

How sweet is the mercy of God, and how rich is the grace of Jesus–when we have had an awful peep into our hearts!¬†This makes us prize the gospel, embrace the Savior, and fly to His cross!¬†At times I am so overwhelmed with the filth and mire of my nature, that I can scarcely look through it unto Jesus. And when he has put on a little of his eye-salve, and scoured the scales off my eyes–I stand amazed to think that He can touch such a leper! And yet where the sun shines clear for a season, and my dung-hill is covered with snow, I forget my leprosy, or become a leper only in notion. I think it perhaps, but do not feel it, nor am I humbled by it. What a heap of absurd contradiction is man!¬†

After an affliction, I think I can say with David: It is good for me to have been afflicted. I can see and feel some profit attending it. Indeed, I never grow really wiser or better, unless when I am baptized both with the¬†Holy Spirit¬†and with¬†fire. If the Dove comes without a furnace, my heart is soon lifted up; pride steals in, and Heaven’s blessed beams turn everything sour within me! We learn nothing truly of ourselves, or of grace, but in a furnace.

The heaviest afflictions on this side of Hell are less, far less than my iniquities have deserved! Oh, boundless grace! The chastening rod of a reconciled Father, might have been the flaming sword of an avenging Judge! I might now have been weeping and wailing with devils and damned spirits in Hell! I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him. It is of His mercy alone, that I am not consumed!

All that we see within is foul, ugly and grim!

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All that we see within is foul, ugly, and grim!

(Frank Hall)

“You are complete in Him!” Colossians 2:10¬†

Oh desponding Christian, is not your grief caused by looking within yourself? Is not that miserable feeling of failure and disappointment, caused by your strange fixation upon your hollow heart of iniquity? You look¬†within, hoping to find something good, something pure, something precious, something clean–but what do you see?¬†Nothing but sin!¬†To stare into one’s self–is to stare into a bottomless pit of despair and hopelessness! “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked!” Jeremiah 17:9

Will we ever learn this? There is nothing¬†within¬†us¬†to give us hope, rest, or peace. Have we ever found anything¬†within us¬†that gave us joy? Of course not! Then why do we continue to¬†stare into the darkness?¬†All that we see within is foul, ugly, and grim!¬†One glance within ought to¬†sicken¬†us. We would sooner find diamonds in a dunghill or roses growing in a sewer–than find goodness dwelling within!

In ourselves we are sinful, guilty, and vile! But bless God forever! 
Our¬†standing¬†before God is not in ourselves; it’s in Christ! He is . . .
  our Salvation,
  our Righteousness, 
  our Hope,
  our Holiness, and
  our Acceptance with God! 

Change the direction of your gaze–and look up! Stop staring into the empty void of your heart–and fix your eyes upon Jesus your Lord, in whom all fullness dwells. Our hope is not within, but without, seated at the right hand of the Father! Lift up your head that is bowed down with guilt and shame! Behold Christ your Savior! Behold your glorious Redeemer! Bid sorrow goodbye and fear depart! Rejoice, for “You¬†are¬†complete in Him!”¬†

Believers are perfect in Christ. To be complete in Christ is to be perfect in Christ. Perfect is not something that we will be, or strive to be–but something that we are right now, by virtue of our eternal union with God’s darling Son.¬†

Brothers and sisters in Christ, we are, by the free grace of God, complete in Christ our Savior! 
We lack nothing! 
All that He¬†is–we are in Him!¬†
All that He¬†has–we have in Him!
All that He has¬†done–we’ve done in Him!¬†
We possess the infinite fullness of eternal life and everlasting salvation in Jesus Christ our Lord!

We are completely righteous in Him!
We are completely holy in Him!
We are completely forgiven in Him!
We are completely accepted in Him! 
We are completely, everlastingly, perfectly sinless in Him!

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus!” Hebrews 12:2¬†

“For every look at SELF–take ten looks at CHRIST!‚Ä̬†–¬†Robert Murray M’Cheyne

Such weather vane preachers are worthless!

Such weather vane preachers are worthless!

A weather vane preacher is any preacher who changes what he preaches or how he preaches when the wind changes direction. The preacher who alters his message or his method because of the ever-changing advice, counsel, and opinions of men is not a leader, but a follower. Such weather vane preachers are worthless! They only do harm to the souls of men, and they need not preach at all. True, gospel preachers are pillars in the church of God ‚ÄĒ not puppets in the hands of men.

“On the contrary, we speak as men approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please men but God, who tests our hearts.” 1 Thessalonians 2:4

“Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage ‚ÄĒ with great patience and careful instruction. For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths!” 2 Timothy 4:2-4

(Frank Hall)

God’s Workmanship!

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“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

There is an infinite difference between the materials that men employ to construct and compose their masterpieces ‚ÄĒ and the materials that God uses to create sinners anew in Christ Jesus. Men work with the best of materials to showcase their talents, but God works with the worst ‚ÄĒ to showcase His power, wisdom, and skill.

The most gifted sculptors carve their creations out of the finest pieces of ivory, marble, and jade. The best jewelers seek only the finest gold and silver to form their bracelets and rings ‚ÄĒ they utilize only the most desirable gems to adorn their jewelry; rubies of the highest grade, diamonds of most exquisite clarity, and emeralds of impeccable luster. Da Vinci painted on a clean canvas with fresh paint when he painted the Mona Lisa. Beethoven and Bach chose blank sheets of clean white paper upon which to compose their symphonies.

But God is not like men. His thoughts are not our thoughts, and His ways are not our ways. God employs, not the best, not the finest, not the most appealing of materials when creating His masterpieces ‚ÄĒ but the worst! He uses what no one else wants. He uses the offscouring of humanity ‚ÄĒ to display His handiwork and magnify His grace. God constructs His masterpiece, not from a perfectly shaped piece of ivory ‚ÄĒ but from a deformed, twisted, marred chunk of hard rough stone that has no attraction.

God has purposed to conform His redeemed people into the pristine image of His darling Son. While keeping His eye fixed upon His Son, using the chisel of His grace ‚ÄĒ God sculpts rebel sinners into the likeness of Christ!

God paints, not on a clean white canvas ‚ÄĒ but on a canvas that has been . . .
stained with sin,
spotted with corruption, and
bespattered with the filth of the fall.
As the perfect Painter, God looks to Christ His Model, and, with the brush of omnipotent mercy in His ever steady hand of sovereign power ‚ÄĒ He begins to paint His children, one by one, into the family portrait; tracing every line with divine precision, filling in every grace with unfailing accuracy, accentuating every corner of their character with a whole array of heavenly hues:

blues of faith and surrender,
violets of honesty and godly fear,
greens of tenderness and gratitude,
reds of love and compassion,
yellows of patience and perseverance ‚ÄĒ
painting them all in the similitude of Christ His beloved Son!

God does not compose His symphony on a blank piece of sheet music. Rather, He blots out the discordant notes of sin, rebellion, and impurity ‚ÄĒ and with the permanent ink of immutable grace, He rewrites the sorrowful sonnet of sin, transforming it into the song of salvation, inscribing on our hearts the heavenly notes of free forgiveness, eternal life, and everlasting righteousness through Christ our Savior! With heavenly wisdom and unseen skill, God makes the sad song of human misery ‚ÄĒ into a glorious gospel melody, a tune that sounds best when played on the broken instruments of contrite hearts!

Our God has . . . .

done the unthinkable,
saved the unsavable,
fixed the unfixable!

He has created a masterpiece using a rotting chunk of fallen humanity as His workpiece! What a wonder! By the grace and power of God, “The king’s daughter is all glorious within!”

When God’s work is all done,
when His poem is finished,
when His symphony composed,
and His masterpiece complete ‚ÄĒ
He will present us to Himself holy and without blemish, “a glorious church, having no spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing!”

God’s work of grace in us begins in regeneration and conversion. It continues until the day when our salvation is consummated in resurrection glory, when we will be perfectly conformed to the image of our Lord Jesus Christ!

“For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son!” Romans 8:29

(Frank Hall)


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