Tag Archives: GraceGems

Self-sins!

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Self-sins!

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

(A.W. Tozer)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What are you doing with your time?

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What are you doing with your time?

(J.R. Miller)

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

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

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

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

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

Are you using your time for God?

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

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

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

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

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

Better to rot in prison!

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Better to rot in prison!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Prepare to meet the monster!

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Prepare to meet the monster! 

(David Harsha) 

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

The following are among her last words: 

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

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

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

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

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

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

To my young companions:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Christian is not a good man

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The Christian is not a good man

(Martyn Lloyd Jones)

The Christian is not a good man. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Charles Spurgeon)

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

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

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

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

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

They are all gone!

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They are all gone! 

(Charles Spurgeon)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

One of the best tests of growth in grace

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One of the best tests of growth in grace

(Charles Spurgeon)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Not one grain too much!

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Not one grain too much!

(Henry Ward Beecher, 1813-1887)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Its tones fall like soothing music on the quivering heart!

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Its tones fall like soothing music on the quivering heart!

(J.R. Miller)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Worse than Hell!

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Worse than Hell! 

(Thomas Watson, “Religion Our True Interest”)

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

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

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

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

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

Sin is the quintessence of evil. 

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

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

A New Year’s Resolution

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A New Year’s Resolution

(Matthew Henry)

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

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

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

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

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

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

   ~  ~  ~  ~

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

A New Year’s Address

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A New Year’s Address

James Smith, New Park Street Church, London, 1849


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

He loves us dearly. 

He knows our frame. 

He considers our circumstances. 

He pities our weaknesses. 

He watches our movements. 

He orders our steps. 

He instructs our minds. 

He subdues our sins. 

He frustrates our enemies. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The devil’s chessboard!

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The devil’s chessboard!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nothing more than the common consent of fools!

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Nothing more than the common consent of fools!

(Charles Spurgeon)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God?
¬†Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world, becomes an enemy of God!” James 4:4¬†

ūüéĄ The Glorious Incarnation: God With Us

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

John MacArthur

A head full of froth!

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A head full of froth!

(Charles Spurgeon)

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

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

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

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

All that we need drops from His palm!

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All that we need drops from His palm!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit!

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Do not grieve the Holy Spirit!

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

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

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

See how great is the sin of grieving the Spirit.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

An excessive anxiety about the innocent things of this life

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An excessive anxiety about the innocent things of this life

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Charles Spurgeon)

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

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

In Hell, they do not laugh at everlasting burnings. 

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

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

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

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

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

A glance into heavenly bliss!

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A glance into heavenly bliss!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rapture rushes in at every part!

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

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

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

O the pleasure that is in His presence! 

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

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

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

O state of complete happiness and consummate bliss!

A high esteem of yourself?

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A high esteem of yourself?

(Charles Spurgeon)

A high esteem of yourself? 

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

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

Young Christians may think much of themselves. 

Growing Christians think themselves nothing. 

Mature Christians know that they are less than nothing. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Among the wonders in Heaven, shall be these three

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Among the wonders in Heaven, shall be these three

(Charles Spurgeon)

Among the wonders in Heaven, shall be these three:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Charles Spurgeon)

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

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

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

We find that they are empty bubbles!

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We find that they are empty bubbles!

(J.C. Ryle)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Morality without Christ

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Morality without Christ

(Charles Spurgeon)

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

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

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

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

This is the greatest sight you will ever see!

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This is the greatest sight you will ever see!

(Charles Spurgeon)

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

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

Behold the wonder! 

There He hangs upon the cross! 

This is the greatest sight you will ever see!

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

Oh, the glory of that sight! 

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

Great in mercy!

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Great in mercy!

(Charles Spurgeon)

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

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

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

I hate buttermilk!

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I hate buttermilk!

One Sunday morning at a small southern church, the new pastor called on one of his older deacons to lead in the opening prayer. The deacon stood up, bowed his head and said, “Lord,¬†I hate buttermilk.” The pastor opened one eye and wondered where this was going.

The deacon continued, “Lord, I hate lard.” Now the pastor was totally perplexed.¬†

The deacon continued, “Lord, I ain’t too crazy about plain flour. But after You mix ’em all together and bake ’em in a hot oven, I just love biscuits. Lord, help us to realize when life gets hard, when things come up that we don’t like, whenever we don’t understand what You are doing–that we need to wait and see what You are making. After You get through mixing and baking, it’ll be something even better than biscuits. Amen.”

“Jesus replied: You do not understand now what I am doing, but later you will understand.” John 13:7

“Help me, O Lord, to make a blessed use of all the¬†disappointments¬†and¬†calamities¬†of life, in such a way that they may unite my heart more closely with You. Cause my disappointments to separate my affections from worldly things, and inspire my soul with more vigor in the pursuit of true happiness. Amen.”¬†Susanna Wesley¬†(1669-1742), mother of John and Charles Wesley and 17 other children.

“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

Look at that cold creeping worm!

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Look at that cold creeping worm!

(Thomas Guthrie, 1803-1873)

Look at that cold creeping worm! The playful child shudders from its touch! 

Yet in a few weeks, and with merry laugh and flying feet, that same child over flowery meadow, is hunting an insect that never lights upon the ground–but flitting in painted beauty from flower to flower–drinks nectar from their cups, and sleeps the summer night away in the bosom of their perfumes.

If that is the same¬†boy–this is also the same¬†creature. The change most wonderful!¬†

Yet this is but a dull, earthly emblem of the divine transformation wrought on those who are converted by God!

Fallen though he is, man is capable of undergoing a more wondrous change than the insect when, no longer a worm, no longer crawling on the ground, no longer feeding on garbage–it leaves its shell to spend its happy days in sport, flitting from flower to flower; its food their sweet juices, and its bed their tender leaves.¬†

The spiritual change which we call¬†conversion, is not a mere reform. It is a¬†mighty revolution–a revolution greater than the tomes of secular history.¬†Conversion changes the heart, the habits, and the eternal destiny of an immortal being!

Conversion does not bestow new faculties. Yet our affections, our temperament, our will, and our judgment–partake of this great and holy change. Thus, the¬†understanding¬†is enlightened; the¬†will¬†is renewed; and our whole¬†temperament¬†is sweetened and sanctified by the Spirit of God.

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


Seeing that we deserve nothing–we should be content with, and thankful for anything!

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Seeing that we deserve nothing–we should be content with, and thankful for anything!

(Ralph Venning, “The Plague of Plagues!” 1669)

It has been every man’s lot to come into and go out of this world naked–to show that he has no right to anything, but lives on the alms of God’s charity and grace. All that we have or hold between our birth and death–is the mere gift of God.¬†

God might choose whether He would allow us anything or not; and when He has given–He may take back again, and none of us has cause to say anything but what Job said: “Naked I came into the world–and naked I shall return. The Lord has¬†given–and the Lord has¬†taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord!” Job 1:21¬†

All that we have, our food and clothing and belongings–are only¬†lent¬†to us. Therefore,¬†seeing that we deserve nothing–we should be¬†content¬†with, and¬†thankful¬†for anything.

“For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.” 1 Timothy 6:7-8


Death–to the righteous and the wicked

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Death–to the righteous and the wicked

(George Lawson, “A Practical Exposition of the Book of Proverbs” 1821)

“The wicked will be cut off from the land–and the unfaithful will be torn from it.”¬†Proverbs 2:22¬†

Must not the righteous leave the earth too? 
Yes! But the earth is a very different thing to the righteous, and to the wicked. 

To the righteous–this world is a place of preparation or Heaven.¬†
To the wicked–this world is all the Heaven they will ever have.¬†

Death is a kind messenger sent to the righteous by their heavenly Father–calling them to the possession of their eternal inheritance!
To the wicked, death is a messenger of wrath–summoning them to the abodes of misery!¬†

Death is the beginning of happiness to God’s people.
Death is the final conclusion of all that the wicked counted their happiness. 

To the righteous–death is a translation to a glorious eternity!¬†
To the wicked–death is everlasting destruction and woe!¬†

“If only they were wise and would understand this–and discern what their¬†end¬†will be!”¬†Deuteronomy 32:29¬†

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


For me!

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For me!

(Octavius Winslow)

“The Son of God, who loved¬†me¬†and gave Himself¬†for me!” Galatians 2:20¬†

Is Jesus precious to my heart?

Is He the object of my supreme admiration and delight?

Does He have my warmest affection?

Do I love Jesus above all?

I must light the torch of my affection for Christ–at¬†the altar of Calvary. I must go there, and learn and believe what the love of Jesus is to me–the¬†vastness¬†of that love–the¬†selfsacrifice¬†of that love–how that love of Jesus . . .
  labored for me, 
  and wept for me, 
  and bled for me, 
  and suffered for me, 
  and died for me! 

Can I stand before this love–this love . . .
  so precious, 
  so great, 
  so enduring, 
  so self-consuming, 
¬† so changeless–and know that¬†. . .
    His sin-atoning sacrifice was for me,
    His cross was for me,
    His agony was for me,
    His scorn and insult was for me,
¬†¬†¬† His death was for me–
and feel no sensibility, no emotion, no love to Jesus? Impossible! 

Do not be cast down, then, in vain regrets that your love to Christ is so frigid, so fickle, so dubious. Go and muse upon the reality and the greatness of¬†the Savior’s love to you–and if love can inspire love–while you muse, the fire will burn, and your soul shall be all in flame with love to Jesus!


As the tree falls–so must it lie!

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As the tree falls–so must it lie!

(J. R. Miller, “Devotional Hours with the Bible” 1909)

Let him who does wrong–continue to do wrong; let him who is vile–continue to be vile” Revelation 22:11

The¬†character¬†with which men reach the final judgment–will be their¬†permanent¬†character forever. The man who lives in sin unto the end–is making his own destiny.¬†Habits¬†of sin–make the whole life sinful. It is this that gives such¬†solemnity¬†to life. The¬†seeds¬†of our future eternity–lie in our present.
   
¬†¬† Sow a¬†thought–and you will reap an act;
¬†¬† sow an¬†act–and you will reap a habit;
¬†¬† sow a¬†habit–and you will reap a character;
¬†¬† sow¬†character–and you will reap a destiny!

Everyone goes to his own place–that is, the place for which he is fitted by his life on the earth. He who has always sinned here on earth–will continue to sin forever. Eternal death–is simply eternal sin, along with the punishments and consequences thereof. The punishment of the wicked will not be an arbitrary punishment–but the natural result of their own choices and acts in this life.

¬†¬† As the tree falls–so must it lie;¬†
¬†¬† As the man lives–so must he die!¬†
¬†¬† As a man dies–such must he be;
   All through the ages of eternity!

It makes a great difference, therefore, how we live in this world. There is an false impression in some people’s minds, that they can live in sin all their days, and then by a few tears of penitence and a cry for mercy in a dying hour–can change all the course of their life and spend eternity in Heaven. This verse does not favor such a view. The future life–is but the¬†harvest¬†of this present life.

Men will be judged by their deeds. The New Testament everywhere teaches the same solemn truth. This does not mean that salvation is by works. We are saved by grace–but grace¬†changes¬†the life and makes us holy.

“To¬†die¬†is gain”–only to those who can sincerely say, “To me, to¬†live¬†is Christ!”


Pains, infirmities, loss of sleep, the failure of sight and hearing!

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Pains, infirmities, loss of sleep, the failure of sight and hearing!

(Letters of John Newton)

“Do not cast me away when I am¬†old; do not forsake me when my strength is gone.” Psalm 71:9

I am drawing nearer and nearer to the season which the Psalmist either expected or felt. Many reasons teach¬†the aged believer¬†the need of this prayer. As his¬†graces¬†are still imperfect–so his¬†powers¬†are feelingly upon the decline. It was but little he could do at his best–and now less and less!

He feels other¬†props¬†and¬†comforts¬†dropping off apace. When he was young, he had warm spirits and pleasing prospects; but now, what a change of the¬†friends¬†in which he once delighted! In some he has found¬†inconstancy–they have forsaken and forgotten him; and others have been successively taken away by¬†death. They have fallen like the leaves in autumn–and now he stands almost a naked trunk. If any yet remain, he is expecting to lose them likewise–unless he is first taken from them.

Old age abates, and gradually destroys the relish of such earthly comforts as might be otherwise enjoyed.¬†Pains, infirmities, loss of sleep, the failure of sight and hearing, and all the senses–are harbingers, like Job’s messengers arriving in close succession, to tell him that¬†death¬†is upon his progress, and is not far away!

If youth has no¬†security¬†against death–then old age has no possibility of¬†escaping¬†the¬†grim monster. But though¬†friends¬†fail,¬†cisterns¬†burst,¬†gourds¬†wither,¬†strength¬†declines, and¬†death¬†advances–if God does not forsake me–then all is well.¬†

“Even to your old age and gray hairs–I am He who will¬†sustain¬†you. I have¬†made¬†you and I will¬†carry¬†you; I will¬†sustain¬†you and I will¬†rescue¬†you!” Isaiah 46:4


Flinging gold coins and diamonds into the sea!

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Flinging gold coins and diamonds into the sea!

(J.R. Miller, 1898)

“Be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise–making the most of your time!” Ephesians 5:15-16

If you saw a man standing by the shore, and¬†flinging gold coins and diamonds into the sea–you would say that he was insane. Yet God sees many people continually doing something very like this. Not gold and precious stones, do they this throw away–but minutes, hours, days, weeks, and years of time–possessions which are of greater worth than any gems of earth!

If we knew the¬†intrinsic value of time–we would not allow a moment of it ever to be wasted!¬†

It is said that in the mints, where gold is coined, that the sweepings of the floors are gathered and passed through the fire, and that in the course of a year large amounts of gold are saved from the mere dust of the precious gold which flies from it as it passes through the various processes of minting. 

In the same way, what vast values would be saved if there were some way of gathering up all the little fragments of the days and hours–the¬†golden dust of time, which people let drop amid the wastes!

Then think how much most of us would really add to the length of our life, if we had learned to use every hour and moment. We talk seriously of¬†the brevity of life. We are often heard complaining about the¬†shortness of the days, wishing they had many more hours in them. Probably the majority of people waste one-half of their time, and have made only one-half as much of their life as they might have done–if they had only used their time with wise economy, and had not squandered any of it.

There are many ways of¬†wasting¬†time. Many people waste a great deal of time in little fragments–five minutes here, ten minutes there, half an hour today, and an hour tomorrow. Those who understand the true value of time, and have learned the secret of using it, always have something worth while to fill up all the little interstices. They have a¬†good book¬†to read when they find a few minutes to spare; or on any occasion of delay.¬†

Time is also well spent, in which we get a beautiful thought, an important fact or a suggestion of a lesson into our mind. Or the fragments of time may be filled with little acts of helpfulness or kindness. It is one of the finest secrets of life, to know how to redeem the minutes from waste, and to make them bearers of blessing, of cheer, of encouragement, of good, to others. Then the whole world is sweeter, because of every kindness done or good word spoken. 

Much time is wasted in¬†useless activities–in doing things which are not worth while. There are things which are not regarded as sins–but which are of no value to anyone, and bring no benefit to him who spends his time in doing them.¬†

There is a great deal of reading that is not worth while. You go through book after book, and from all the pages you do not get one enriching thought, one helpful inspiration, or one impulse toward a holier life. All you have at the end of a year of such reading, is only a confused memory of exciting sensations, unwholesome incidents, and unreal experiences. You would better have spent the time in sleep or in sheer idleness, than in going through such worthless books!

There is altogether too much of such reading done. There are good novels, great works of fiction, which teach splendid lessons, which show magnificent character and noble conduct, which inspire their readers to truer, holier living. But there are novels which give unworthy and unwholesome thoughts of life, which leave in the mind of readers a residuum of unholy thoughts, false ideals, the¬†trail of the serpent. Then there are novels which, if they are not positively evil in their spirit and tendency–are inane, senseless, with nothing in them to make any one truer, holier, or sweeter-spirited.

A great deal of the popular reading of our day is but a waste of time, if not worse! If instead of it people would read only that which is worth while–how much richer they would be at the end of their life!

No problem that comes before us is more important than this–what to do with¬†time. In youth, we learn how to live. The habits we form then, will go with us to the end of our days. If we learn then the value of¬†moments, and form the habit of giving every minute something worthy to do–we shall have found a secret of successful living.

“Teach us to number our days aright–that we may gain a heart of wisdom!”¬†Psalm 90:12¬†


The suffering Christian!

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The suffering Christian!

(Francis Bourdillon, “Affliction, Light and Short!” 1864)

“For our¬†light¬†affliction, which is but for a¬†moment–is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; while we do not look at the things which are seen–but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary–but the things which are not seen are eternal!” 2 Corinthians 4:17-18¬†

Few people will call their present affliction¬†light–and few are disposed to call it¬†short. For while it lasts, it seems¬†hard¬†to bear–and a time of suffering generally appears¬†long. Yet the apostle Paul writes thus about his affliction: “Our¬†light¬†affliction, which is but for a¬†moment.”¬†

Paul’s afflictions were not, in themselves,¬†light–few men have gone through more hardships and trials than he did. Nor were they, in themselves,¬†short–for wherever he went he found them; they continued, more or less, to the end of his life.¬†

It was only when he¬†compared¬†his present affliction with the glory that was so soon to follow–that it seemed to him light and short. Then he could say, “Our¬†light¬†affliction, which is but for a¬†moment.”

We must always try to look at our afflictions in this way. If we look at them alone–they will be enough to overwhelm us! But if we think also, and even more, of the eternal¬†rest¬†and¬†happiness¬†and¬†glory¬†which lie ahead of us–then our view of our present afflictions will be greatly changed.¬†

“True,” we shall feel, “true, my sorrows are many; my sickness is sore; my pain is great; long have I lain upon a bed of suffering. Yet before me lies a home of perfect rest, where pain and sickness and sorrow cannot come. My Savior has¬†promised¬†it to me and has gone before to¬†prepare¬†it for me. In a little while, I shall be there!”¬†

With thoughts such as these,¬†the suffering Christian¬†should comfort himself–and thus weigh¬†present affliction¬†against¬†future glory. For what are all things here below, but short? Joys and sorrows, health and sickness, affliction and prosperity–all the things that¬†pain¬†and that¬†please, “the things which are seen”–all these things are but for a time.¬†

Whereas “the things which are not seen are eternal.” What we¬†hope¬†for, what Christ has¬†purchased¬†for us and gone before to¬†prepare¬†for us–that is forever! Our pains and sorrows will soon end–but our pleasures will never end! Our affliction is but for a little while–but our comforts, our Savior’s presence, our Heavenly home, will be ours always!¬†

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away–yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day!” 2 Corinthians 4:16


The sheep do not choose their own pasture!

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The sheep do not choose their own pasture!

(Francis Bourdillon, “Bedside Readings” 1864)

“He makes me to lie down in green pastures.¬†He leads me beside the still waters.”¬†Psalm 23:2¬†

“He makes me lie down in green pastures.”¬†That is, He supplies the needs of our souls. He . . .
  gives us the food of the Word of God, 
  strengthens us with His grace, and
  makes us to find our rest in Him. 

“He leads me beside the still waters.”¬†That is, He . . .
  refreshes us when we are weary, 
  revives our hearts by His promises, 
  cheers us by His presence, 
  gives us His Holy Spirit, and 
  enables us to rejoice in His salvation. 

Amidst all our trials and troubles–He comforts us and gives us fresh hope.¬†

Some may say, “Why should I have trouble at all? Why does the good Shepherd send me anything besides comfort and pleasure? Why am I¬†poor¬†or¬†sad¬†or¬†sick?”¬†

The sheep do not choose their own pasture–the shepherd chooses for them. In the same way, the disciple does not choose his own lot in life–it is¬†appointed¬†for him. His Shepherd knows best what is good for him. The best is not always what is the most pleasant at the moment–but what is most profitable in the end.

Our Shepherd sometimes leads us through what seem to us dry and stony places–but they lead to the Heavenly pastures! And even along the way, He feeds us and comforts us with all a shepherd’s care. Never is our Shepherd nearer to us, than when we are in need or danger.¬†

“My sheep hear My voice, I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish–ever! No one will snatch them out of My hand!” John 10:27-28


Here–put your troubles here!

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Here–put your troubles here!

(Charles Spurgeon)

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

Cast your¬†troubles¬†where you have cast your¬†sins. You have cast your¬†sins¬†onto Jesus–cast your¬†troubles¬†there also!

As soon as the trouble comes, quick, the first thing–tell it to your heavenly Father!¬†Remember, that the longer you take telling your trouble to God–the more your peace will be impaired. The longer the frost lasts–the more likely the ponds will be frozen.

Oh! It is¬†a happy way of smoothing sorrow, when we can cast our burden upon the Lord. Oh, you agitated Christians, do not dishonor your religion by always wearing a ‘frown of concern’. Come, cast your burden upon the Lord.

I see you staggering beneath a weight which He would not feel.
What seems a crushing burden to you–would be nothing but a bit of dust to Him!

See! The Almighty bends His shoulders, and He says:¬†Here–put your troubles here!

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


Made for frivolities?

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Made for frivolities?

(Charles Spurgeon, “The One Thing Needful”)

Were you made only to be a machine for digging holes, laying bricks, or cutting out pieces of wood? Were you created only to stand at a counter and measure or weigh out goods? Do you think your God made you for that and that only? 

Is this the chief end of man–to earn so many dollars a week, and try to make ends meet?

Is that all immortal men were made for?

As a man with a soul, capable of thought and judgment–and not a mere animal like a dog, nor a machine like a steam engine; can you stand up and look at yourself, and say, “I believe I am perfectly fulfilling my destiny”?¬†

God has made man that he may glorify him–and whatever else man accomplishes, if he attains not to this end, his life is a disastrous failure!

Others are lovers of pleasure. They are merry as the birds, their life is as the flight of a butterfly, which lightly floats from flower to flower, according to its own sweet will.

It cannot be that an immortal spirit was¬†made for frivolities–spending all its time on the¬†playthings¬†of the world.¬†

So great a thing as an immortal soul could not have been made by God–with no higher object than to spend itself upon trifles as light as air.

Oh, pause a while, you careless, godless one! There is something more than the fool’s laugh. All things are not a comedy. Death and Heaven and Hell are serious–and should not life be?¬†

The charms of music, the merriment of the mirthful assembly, the beauties of art, and the delights of banqueting–there must be something more for you than these. Something more must be required of you than that you should waste your precious time from morn to night upon nothing but to please yourself!


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

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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!”

The best evidence of Christianity!

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The best evidence of Christianity! 

(Frederick Marsh)

Jesus is the chief among ten thousand–the altogether lovely One!

Christ is the Chiefest–or better than the best.¬†

His love is unknowable! Ephesians 3:19 

His riches are unsearchable! Ephesians 3:18 

His joy is unspeakable! 1 Peter 1:8 

His ways are untrackable! Romans 11:33 

His grace is inexhaustible! 2 Corinthians 9:8 

His peace is unfathomable! Philippians 4:7 

And He Himself is unsurpassable! Exodus 15:11 
 

His character was beautiful with holiness in every detail. Hebrews 7:26 

His love was pure and faithful in all its affection. John 13:1 

His service was true and beneficent in all its workings. Acts 10:38 

His words were tender and true in all their utterances. John 7:45 

His life was consistent in every department. Mark 7:37 

His aim was single and concentrated in glorifying God. John 17:4 

His mission was to benefit all who would trust Him, in dying a death which they deserved. 2 Corinthians 8:9 

Christ is Christianity–and¬†the best evidence of Christianity¬†is Christ!

“Yes, He is altogether lovely! This is my Beloved, and this is my Friend!” Song of Songs 5:16¬†

Of all sins, it is the most secret, subtle and insinuating!

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Of all sins, it is the most secret, subtle and insinuating! 

(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

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

The pride of the wicked is the principal reason why they will not seek after the knowledge of God. 

In the first place, pride renders God a disagreeable object of contemplation to the wicked–and a knowledge of Him as undesirable. Pride consists in an unduly exalted opinion of one’s self. It is, therefore, impatient of a rival, hates a superior, and cannot endure a master. In proportion as it prevails in the heart–pride makes us wish . . .
  to see nothing above us,
  to acknowledge no law but our own wills,
  to follow no rule but our own inclinations. 

Thus it led Satan to rebel against his Creator–and our first parents to desire to be as gods.¬†

Since such are the effects of pride, it is evident that nothing can be more painful to a proud heart than the thoughts of such a being as God–one who is infinitely powerful, just, and holy–who can neither be resisted, deceived, nor deluded–who disposes, according to His own sovereign pleasure, of all creatures and events–and who, in an especial manner, hates pride, and is determined to abase and punish it. Such a Being, pride can contemplate only with feelings of dread, aversion, and abhorrence. It must look upon God as its natural enemy–the great Enemy whom it has to fear.¬†

The knowledge of God directly tends to bring this infinite, irresistible, irreconcilable Enemy full to the view of the proud man. It teaches him that he has a superior, a master . . .
  from whose authority he cannot escape,
  whose power he cannot resist,
¬† and whose¬†will¬†he must obey–
or be crushed before Him, and be rendered miserable forever! It shows him what he hates to see–that, in despite of his opposition . . .
¬† God’s counsel shall stand,¬†
  He will do all His pleasure, and
  that He is infinitely above them. 

These truths torture the proud unhumbled hearts of the wicked, and hence they hate the Scriptures which teach these truths. On the contrary, they wish to remain ignorant of such a Being, and to banish all thoughts of Him from their minds. With this view, they neglect, pervert, or explain away those passages of Scripture which describe God’s true character, and endeavor to believe that He is altogether such a one as themselves.

How foolish, how absurd, how ruinous, how blindly destructive of its own self–does¬†pride¬†appear! By attempting to¬†soar–it only plunges itself in the mire! While endeavoring to erect for itself a¬†throne–it undermines the ground on which it stands, and digs its own grave!

Pride plunged Satan from Heaven into Hell; it banished our first parents from paradise; and it will, in a similar manner, ruin all who indulge in it. Pride . . . 
  keeps us in ignorance of God,
  shuts us out from His favor,
  prevents us from resembling Him, and
  deprives us in this world, of all the honor and happiness which communion with Him would confer.
And in the next world, unless previously hated, repented of, and renounced–pride will bar the door of Heaven forever against us, and close the gates of Hell upon us!¬†

O then, my friends, beware, above all things–beware of pride!¬†Beware, lest you indulge it imperceptibly, for¬†of all sins–it is the most secret, subtle and insinuating!


WHY?

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WHY? 

(Horatius Bonar)  

“Do not love the world or anything in the world.”¬†1 John 2:15¬†

WHY?

1. Because the gain of it, is the loss of the soul–Matthew 16:25-26.¬†
  
2. Because its friendship is enmity to God–James 4:4.¬†
  
3. Because it did not know Christ–John 1:10; 17:25.¬†
  
4. Because it hates Christ–John 7:7; 15:18.¬†
  
5. Because the Holy Spirit has forbidden us–1 John 2:15.¬†
  
6. Because Christ did not pray for it–John 17:9.¬†
  
7. Because Christ’s people do not belong to it–John 17:16.¬†
  
8. Because its Prince is Satan–John 13:31; 16:11.¬†
  
9. Because Christ’s kingdom is not of it–John 18:36.¬†
  
10. Because its wisdom is foolishness–1 Corinthians 1:20.¬†
  
11. Because Christ does not belong to it–John 8:23.¬†
  
12. Because it is condemned–1 Corinthians 11:32.¬†
  
13. Because it is passing away–1 Corinthians 7:31.¬†
  
14. Because it slew Christ–James 5:6; Matthew 21:39.¬†
  
15. Because it is crucified to us–Galatians 6:14.¬†
  
16. Because we are crucified to it–Galatians 6:14.¬†
  
17. Because it is the seat of wickedness–2 Peter 1:4; 1 John 5:19.¬†
  
18. Because its god is the evil one–2 Corinthians 4:4.¬†

If Christ has our love–then He has our ALL!

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If Christ has our love–then He has our ALL!¬†

(Thomas Doolittle, “Love to Christ Necessary to Escape the Curse at His Coming!” 1693)

“If any man does not love the Lord Jesus Christ–he shall be accursed!” 1 Corinthians 16:22¬†

If Christ has our¬†love–then He has our ALL!¬†
Christ never has our¬†all¬†from us–until He has our¬†love. Love withholds nothing from Christ, when it is sincerely set upon Him.¬†
Then He shall have our time, 
and He shall have our service, 
and He shall have the use of all our abilities, and gifts, and graces! 
Yes, then He shall have our estates and our very lives–when He calls for them.¬†

As when¬†God¬†loves any of us–He will withhold nothing from us that is good for us; no, not even His own only begotten Son! Romans 8:32¬†

And when Christ loves us, then He gives all unto us:
  His merits to justify us, 
  His Spirit to sanctify us, 
  His grace to adorn us, 
  His glory to crown us!

Just so, when any of us love Christ sincerely, we lay all down at His feet, and give up all to be at His command and service! “And they did not love their lives unto the death!” Revelation 12:11

Love gives the character to a man, according as the object is, which he superlatively loves. 
As is the love–such is the man. As is the love–such might you boldly call the man.¬†

If he is a lover of honor–then he is an¬†ambitious¬†man.¬†

If he is a lover of pleasure–then he is a¬†voluptuous¬†man.¬†

If he chiefly loves the world–then he is he is a¬†covetous¬†man.

If he loves holiness–then he is he is a¬†pious¬†man.¬†

If he loves the things above–then he is a¬†heavenly-minded¬†man.

If he loves Christ with a predominant love–then he is a¬†Christian¬†man!

“The upright love You!” Song of Songs 1:4


Eloquent prayers

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Eloquent prayers

(Charles Spurgeon)

If the¬†eloquence¬†of our prayers mattered to God, then eloquence would be more valuable than grace–but it is not so.¬†

Some of us may be able to express ourselves very fluently from the force of natural abilities–but it should always be an anxious question to us, whether our prayer is a prayer which God will receive.

We often pray best when we stammer and stutter–and we often pray worst when words flow articulately one after another! God is not moved by¬†eloquent prayers–they are but¬†empty noise¬†to Him. He is only moved by sincere emotions which dwell in the innermost heart.¬†

For a man to bend his knees and utter the¬†hypocritical language of affection¬†to God which he never feels in his heart–is little short of blaspheming God! We must have very light thoughts of God, when we try to deceive Him with such prayers as these!

I often say my prayers
But do I ever pray?
And do the wishes of my heart
Go with the words I say?

I may as well kneel down
And worship gods of stone,
As offer to the living God
A prayer of words alone.

For words without the heart
The Lord will never hear;
Nor will He to those lips attend
Whose prayers are not sincere.
   John Burton, 1803-1877

He has a perfect knowledge of all His subjects!

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He has a perfect knowledge of all His subjects!

(William Dyer, “Christ’s Famous Titles“)

Oh, brethren, earthly kings and princes do not know all their subjects; nay, they know very few. Alas! they do not know a quarter of them! They are not acquainted with all the troubles, and needs, and miseries that their poor subjects lie under. 

The Lord Jesus infinitely excels all other kings–in that¬†He has a perfect knowledge of all His subjects!¬†He knows them all by name. He knows . . .
  all their thoughts,
  all their needs,
  all their ways,
  all their conditions. 

So say I to you, brethren, Your King knows . . .
  all your necessities,

  all your sufferings, 
  all your troubles,
  all your fears!

Yes, and “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus!” Philippians 4:19.¬†Oh, this is a sweet Scripture!

Oh, poor souls, Christ knows everything about you! This is our great happiness, that we have a King who knows us so well. Oh, here is the excellency of our King!


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