Tag Archives: Funeral

On our learning this lesson depends our comforting walk heavenward

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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:

Grace logo

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

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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!

Grace logo

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

Grace logo

“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!

I am in eternity–and you are on the brink!

Grace logo

I¬†am in eternity–and¬†you¬†are on the brink!

(James Smith,¬†“A Solemn Admonition” 1859)

Passing through a country¬†graveyard¬†the other day, an inscription on a head-stone struck my eye. The stone was by the side of the path, where everyone could see it, and it was placed there in memory of a young man who died at the age of¬†seventeen. It was–

¬†¬† “Reader, one moment,
    Stop, and think:
    That I am in eternity!
¬†¬†¬† And¬†you¬†are on the brink!”

In eternity! A young man, only seventeen years of age, in eternity! 

In a fixed, a changeless, an eternal state!

In Heaven–or in Hell!

Saved with an everlasting salvation–or damned forever!

If it should be the latter–what a fearful supposition! And yet many have gone to Hell–before¬†they have been seventeen years of age!

I¬†am in eternity–and¬†you¬†are on the brink!” Yes, though you may be young, apparently healthy, full of life and vigor–you are on the¬†brink¬†of eternity! A slight accident, or a few days illness–and you are¬†in¬†eternity! What a solemn thought!

What will eternity be to you? 

Where will you be in eternity?

Are your sins pardoned? 
Are you reconciled to God by the death of His Son? 
Are you sanctified by the Holy Spirit–and thus made fit for Heaven?¬†

If not, remember that in Hell, there is . . .
  no gospel,
  no means of grace,
  no way of escape from the wrath of God!
Once there–and your doom is fixed forever!¬†

Think, O think . . .
  Of the dreadful consequences of dying in your sins!
  Of going down to the grave in an unconverted state! 
  Of dying under the curse of God!

“Behold, now is the accepted time!¬†
¬†Behold, now is the day of salvation!”

I have just been informed of the loss of your dear wife

Grace logo

I have just been informed of the loss of your dear wife

(Letters of John Berridge)

Dear friend,
I have just been informed of the loss of your dear wife. She was mortal–but she has now become immortal! Should this cause you to grieve immoderately?¬†O that I was where she is now!

“Safe landed on that peaceful shore,¬†
¬†Where pilgrims meet to part no more.”¬†

She was once a mourning sinner in the wilderness–but is now a glorified saint in Zion! The Lord has become her “everlasting light, and the days of her mourning are ended!” She was once afflicted with bodily pains and weakness, encompassed with family cares, and harassed with a crowd of anxious, needless fears. She is now arrived at her Father’s house! Jesus has wiped away all tears from her eyes, and freed her in a moment from pain, and care, and fear, and want! Shall this make you sorrow, as those who have no hope?

You have not left your wife–she has only left you for a little moment. She has left her husband on earth–to dwell with her glorious Father in Heaven. She expects your arrival there soon, to join her¬†Hallelujahs¬†for redeeming love.

And are you still weeping? Weeping because your wife can weep no more; weeping because she is happy–eternally, gloriously happy? Are you weeping because she is joined to the blessed assembly where all are kings and priests–weeping, because she is where you would be, and long to be eternally?¬†

The Lord Jesus has called her home to His kingdom, to draw your soul more ardently thither! He has broken up a¬†cistern–to bring you nearer, and keep you closer to the overflowing¬†fountain¬†of all felicity!

“Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst.
 The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat.
 For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their Shepherd;
 He will lead them to springs of living water.
¬†And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes!” Revelation 7:16-17¬†

When will it be my time to be eaten?

When will it be my time to be eaten?

(Charles Spurgeon)

All men persist in thinking all men mortal, but themselves.

If there were a great monster in our city, which ate ten of the inhabitants alive every day–we would be dreadfully miserable, especially if we never knew when it would be our turn to be devoured!

If we were certain that it would eat all in our city by-and-bye, but would only eat ten in a day–we would all tremble as we passed by the huge monster’s den, and say, “When will it be my time to be eaten?” This would cast a dark cloud over the whole metropolis, blacker than its usual fog.

But here is a monster, DEATH, which devours its hundreds at its meal. With its iron tongue, the funeral knell keeps crying out for more! Its greedy and insatiable throat is never filled–its teeth are never blunted–and its ravenous hunger is never satisfied.

And though it will be our turn by-and-bye to be devoured of this great monster–yet how little do we think about it!

All men persist in thinking all men mortal, but themselves.

A Funeral Playlist

ūü§ĒMy Thoughts…¬†

Last Saturday Sarah & i were buying Christmas cards at our local Christian book store when a man asked the worker “Do you have a CD which has funeral songs on? I conduct a lot of funerals and i’ve tried all the other shops in town, then they told me to try the Christian shop:. He said it wouldn’t be for a Christian though….

My mind was racing by this point and i said to Sarah ‚ÄúNow that‚Äôs a question you don‚Äôt hear very often‚Ķ.if at all‚ÄĚ.¬†

On leaving the shop i said to Sarah ‚ÄúThat could be a difficult playlist to make as for us, it‚Äôs a Glorious celebration as death has no sting(1 Corinthians 15:55). And to know we will be absent from body and present with the Lord(2 Corinthians 5:8)‚Ķ…Or for those¬†without God and no Hope(Ephesians 2:12)”it will be the most terrible time of their life‚ÄĚ,

The shop didn‚Äôt have a CD funeral album…

I said to Sarah ‚ÄúI only have 1 Hymn so far that i would like to play at my funeral and that‚Äôs ‚ÄėWhen i survey the Wondrous Cross(Isaac Watts version)‚Äô, i need to find a couple more‚Ķi will have to make a funeral playlist‚ÄĚ.¬†

Can you help me?? I‚Äôd love to hear about your fave ¬†Hymn/song suggestions. ūüėÄ

A Wedding Sandwich

Well it‚Äôs been an emotional (but rewarding) couple of weeks with a wedding sandwiched between 2 funerals. 1st was Sarah‚Äôs Grans funeral (see¬†ūüĆĻBeautiful RosaūüĆĻ) then my sisters wedding (see My Sisters Wedding) and today we celebrated Sarah‚Äôs Spiritual guide & support Audrey Broderick‚Äôs life at a beautiful and moving memorial service. During the service Audrey had requested a poem to be read and i thought i‚Äôd share it with you‚Ķ.

You can shed tears that she is gone
or you can smile because she has lived.

You can close your eyes and pray that she’ll come back
or you can open your eyes and see all she’s left.

Your heart can be empty because you can’t see her
or you can be full of the love you shared.

You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday
or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember her and only that she’s gone
or you can cherish her memory and let it live on.

You can cry and close your mind,
be empty and turn your back
or you can do what she’d want:
smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

David Harkins, © 1981

ūüĆĻBeautiful RosaūüĆĻ

Sarah & i spent the last couple of days up in Doncaster for Sarah‚Äôs beautiful Grans (Rosa) funeral which took place yesterday. Sarah‚Äôs Dad shared loving memories, photos and even school reports with us over a lovely home-cooked meal. I feel truly blessed to have known such an intelligent, bright & loving person, and we will all remember her fantastic sense of humour! ūüėÄ X x x

Rosa Ballet

⇧ Ballerina Rosa (aged 11) in 1930 ⇧ 

Sarah  Gran Rosa

‚áß Gran Rosa with Sarah (1992) ‚áß

Beautiful Rosa

‚áß That Beautiful Smile ‚áß

Sarah gran

‚áß Sarah & her Gran ūüôā ‚áß


Faith Family Fitness

2 Chronicles 15:7

TheGodminute

A daily dose of God’s touch in a minute...

100 Country Trek

Travelling is my joy of living. Sit back relax and come with me.

Lets Go Somewhere, McKinney

A husband and wife traveling near and far while remaining full time coaches

Secret Diary of a Yorkshire Lass

Travel and Lifestyle Blog

Study . Work . Travel . Blog

A UK-based travel blog exploring the wide world one step at a time.

Hymn Lyric Archive

Need lyrics to a Church Hymn? Just type the Hymn Title in the search box to find the lyrics.

thriftyshopper7.wordpress.com/

Travel and Lifestyle Blog

%d bloggers like this: