Tag Archives: Hope

I began to read the Holy Scriptures upon my knees

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I began to read the Holy Scriptures upon my knees

(George Whitefield)

My mind being now more open and enlarged,¬†I began to read the Holy Scriptures upon my knees, laying aside all other books and praying over, if possible, every line and Word. This proved food indeed and drink indeed to my soul. I daily received fresh life, light and power from above. I got more true knowledge from reading the Book of God in one month–than I could ever have acquired from all the writings of men!


“I went to my room and locked my door, and putting the Bible on a chair, I went down on my knees at the chair. There I remained for several hours in prayer and meditation over the Word of God; and I can tell you that I learned more in those three hours which I spent in this way, than I had learned for many months previously.”¬†George Muller

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

Too wise to err–and too loving to be unkind!

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Too¬†wise¬†to err–and too¬†loving¬†to be unkind!

(Arthur Pink, “The Sovereignty of God”)

Because God is¬†righteous–His judgments fall upon those who rebel against Him.

Because God is¬†faithful–the solemn threatenings of His Word are fulfilled.¬†

Because God is¬†omnipotent–none can successfully resist Him, still less overthrow His counsel.¬†

Because God is¬†omniscient–no problem can master Him, and no difficulty baffle His wisdom.¬†

Faith endures “as seeing Him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27) Faith endures the disappointments, the hardships, and the heart-aches of life–by recognizing that all comes from the hand of Him who is¬†too¬†wise¬†to err–and too¬†loving¬†to be unkind.¬†

So long as we are occupied with any other object than God Himself–there will be neither¬†rest¬†for the heart, nor¬†peace¬†for the mind. But when we receive all that enters our lives as¬†from¬†His hand–then, no matter what may be our circumstances or surroundings–whether in a hovel, a prison-dungeon, or a martyr’s stake–we shall be enabled to say, “The lines have fallen unto me in pleasant places!” (Psalm 16:6). But that is the language of¬†faith–not of¬†sight¬†or of¬†sense.

There is no higher aspect of faith, than that which brings the heart to patiently submit unto¬†whatever¬†God sends unto us; to meekly acquiesce unto His sovereign will; and to say, “Shall I not drink the¬†cup of suffering¬†which my Father has given me?” Faith when it reaches the pinnacle of attainment declares, “though He slays me, yet will I trust in Him!”

“Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine!” Luke 22:42¬†

The Scriptural view of sin!

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The Scriptural view of sin!


ALLEINE: O miserable man, what a deformed monster has sin made you! God made you “little lower than the angels”–but sin has made you little better than the devils!


BEART: There is a certain infiniteness in sin, because it is against an infinite God, which therefore brings a punishment of infinite duration, because it cannot be atoned for by finite creatures.


BROOKS: Did God leave us to act according to our sinful natures–we would all be incarnate devils, and this world would be an absolute Hell!
¬† There is no little sin–because there is no little God to sin against.


EDWARDS: You contribute nothing to your salvation–but the sin which made it necessary!
  Never did God so manifest His hatred of sin, as in the death and suffering of His only begotten Son.


FLAVEL: Christ is not sweet–until sin is made bitter to us!
¬† If God should damn you to all eternity–your eternal sufferings could not satisfy for the evil that is in one vain thought!¬†O the depth of the evil of sin!


HODGE: Original sin is the only rational solution of the undeniable fact of the deep, universal and early manifested sinfulness of men in all ages, of every class, and in every part of the world.


JAMES: The torments of the bottomless pit are not so dreadful a demonstration of God’s hatred of sin, as the agonies of the cross!


LOVE: Sin is worse than Hell, because sin made Hell to be Hell.


MANTON: Sin is sweet in commission, but bitter in its wages!
¬†¬†The more affected we are with our sinful misery–the fitter we are for Christ’s marvelous mercy.


MASON: Sin digs graves for bodies, and kindles Hell for souls!
  A man can never leave sin thoroughly, until he loathes it heartily.
  Go to Golgotha and see what sin did there!
  Christ did not die for sin, that we might live in sin.
  The sins of the wicked anger Christ, the sins of His people grieve Him.


NEWTON: The more vile we are in our own eyes–the more precious Christ will be to us!
¬†¬†Sin cannot be hated for itself–until we have seen the malignity of it in Christ’s sufferings!


OWEN: The¬†seed¬†of every sin–is in every heart!
¬† Christ’s blood is the great sovereign remedy for sin-sick souls!
¬† I do not understand how a man can be a true believer–in whom sin is not the greatest burden, sorrow and trouble!

PRICE: We drown our sins in the Red Sea of Christ’s blood!


RYLE: Christ is never fully valued, until sin is clearly seen.


SIBBES: The depths of our misery–can never fall below the depths of God’s mercy!
¬†¬†Sin is not so sweet in the¬†committing¬†of it–as it is bitter in the¬†reckoning¬†of it.¬†
¬† It is evident that our conversion is sound–when we loathe and hate sin from the heart.


SPURGEON: If Christ has died for me–then I cannot trifle with the sin which killed my best Friend!
  What sin is worth being damned for?
¬† If you have¬†lived¬†like the wicked–then you will¬†die¬†like the wicked, and be¬†damned¬†like the wicked!
¬† Look to the cross, and hate your sin–for sin nailed your Well-Beloved to the cruel tree!
  Sin is self-damnation!
¬† As salt tinges every drop in the ocean–so does sin affect every atom of man’s nature!
¬† There is no cure for the love of sin–like the blood of Christ!


WATSON: Sin has the devil for its father, shame for its companion, and death and damnation for its wages!

The life-buoy!

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The life-buoy!

(Charles Spurgeon, “Christ Is All”)¬†

Whatever trials you have, my dear brother, Christ is all in all to meet them. 

Are you poor? He will make you rich in your poverty by His consoling presence. 

Are you sick? He will make your bed in your sickness, and so will make your sick-bed better than the walks of health. 

Are you persecuted? If it is for His sake, you may even leap for joy. 

Are you oppressed? Remember how He also was oppressed and afflicted; and you will have fellowship with Him in his sufferings. 

Amidst all the vicissitudes of this present life, Christ is all that the believer needs to bear him up, and bear him through. No wave can sink the man who clings to this life-buoy; he shall swim to glory on it!

Jesus is all I need!
  Jesus is . . . 
  the living water to quench my thirst, 
  the heavenly bread to satisfy my hunger, 
  the snow-white robe to cover me, 
  the sure refuge in times of trouble, 
  the happy home of my soul, 
  my food and my medicine, 
  my solace and my song, 
  my light and my delight. 

The believer can say, “Christ is mine!”¬†No emperor is half as rich as the beggar that has Christ!¬†He who has Christ, being a pauper, has all things. And he who has not Christ, possessing a thousand worlds, possesses nothing for real happiness and joy!¬†

Oh, the blessedness of the man who can say,¬†“Christ is mine!”

Your salvation makes amends for all His sufferings!

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Your salvation makes amends for all His sufferings!

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(Samuel Davies, “The Sufferings of Christ, and Their Consequent Joys and Blessings“)

“He shall¬†see His seed!¬†He shall¬†see¬†of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied!” Isaiah 53:10-11¬†

Jesus is now exalted to His throne in the highest heavens; and from thence He takes a wide survey of the universe. He looks down upon our world–and beholds kings in their grandeur, victorious generals with all their power, nobles and great men in all their pomp. But these are not the objects that best please His eyes.¬†“He shall see His seed!”¬†He sees one here, and another there, bought with His blood, and born of His Spirit; and this is the most delightful sight our world can afford Him. Some of them may be oppressed with poverty, covered with rags, or ghastly with famine; they may make no great figure in mortal eyes; but He loves to¬†look¬†at them! He esteems them as His children, and¬†the fruits of His dying pangs!

The happiness of His exalted state consists in a great degree, in the pleasure of seeing the designs of His death accomplished in the conversion and salvation of sinners!

His eyes are graciously fixed upon this assembly today! And if there is one of His spiritual seed among us, He can distinguish them in the crowd. 
He sees you
 drinking in His Words with eager ears! 
He sees you at His table commemorating His love!
He sees your hearts breaking with penitential sorrows, and melting at His cross!

But these are not the only children whom He delights to view; they are not all in such an abject, imperfect state. No! He sees a glorious company of them around His throne in Heaven, arrived to maturity, enjoying their inheritance, and resembling their divine Parent!

How does His benevolent heart rejoice to look over¬†the immense plains of Heaven–and see them all peopled with¬†His seed!¬†When He takes a view of this numerous offspring, sprung from His blood, and when He looks down to our world–and sees so many¬†infants in grace, gradually advancing to their adult age; when He sees some, perhaps every hour since He died upon Calvary, entering the gates of Heaven, having finished their course of¬†education¬†upon earth; I say, when this prospect appears to Him on every hand–how does He rejoice!

Now the prophecy in my text is fulfilled! “He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied!” If you put the sentiments of His benevolent heart into language, methinks He would say, “Since My death has been so fruitful of such a glorious posterity, I am well satisfied. I desire no other reward for all My agonies for them. If this end is but answered, I am fully satisfied by My hanging on the tree for them!”

Suppose that He should this day appear to you in that¬†suffering¬†form–sweating great drops of blood, accused, insulted, bruised, scourged, nailed upon the cross! And suppose He should turn to¬†you¬†with a countenance full of love and pity, and drenched with blood and tears, and address you in such moving language as this:
“See! sinners–see what I suffer for you! See at what a dear rate I purchase your salvation! See how I love you! And now I have only this to ask of you in return: that you would forsake those murderous sins which thus torment Me; that you would love and serve Me; and receive that salvation which I am now purchasing with the blood of My heart! This I ask, with all the importunity–of My last breath, of My bleeding wounds, and My expiring groans. Grant Me but this, and I am well satisfied! I shall think of all My sufferings, as well bestowed.”

O sirs, must not your heart melt away within you, to hear such language as this? See the strength of the love of Jesus! If you are but saved, He does not begrudge His blood and life for you!¬†Your salvation makes amends for all His sufferings!¬†This He accounts His greatest joy–a joy more than equivalent to all the pains He endured for you! He has¬†full satisfaction¬†for all the sorrows you have caused Him!

But alas! If you are¬†not¬†saved–then you will perish forever under the weight of His righteous vengeance; and He will rejoice over your damnation! He will glorify Himself in your destruction! The flames of Hell will burn dreadfully bright–when He will please Himself in the execution of His justice upon you!

Alas! Is the happiness of Heaven, the only kind of happiness that you are careless about? Is the salvation of your immortal soul, the only deliverance for which you have no desire? Alas! Have you become so stupidly wicked!!

“He shall see His seed! He shall see of the travail of His soul, and shall be satisfied!” Isaiah 53:10-11

But there is a condition

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But there is a condition

(J.R. Miller, “In All Your Ways!“)

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.¬†In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6¬†

We all need direction in our life paths. 

We turn to our friends for counsel, but human wisdom is inadequate. It is short-sighted and cannot certainly know what is best. It is ignorant and may mislead unwittingly. Wrong advice, though meant for good, has wrecked many a life destiny! Human guidance is not enough; we need something truer, wiser, safer–something infallible; and that is just what we have assured to us in this¬†promise of divine direction.

But there is a¬†condition–we must acknowledge the Lord in¬†all¬†our ways. The “all” is emphatic. Most of us acknowledge the Lord in¬†some¬†of our ways. We turn to Him in the time of great trials, or in great and sore dangers. Even scoffers and atheists have been known, in the moment of peril, as in a storm at sea–to fall upon their knees and call upon God for help. The worst people, when alarming sickness is on them, or when death stares them in the face, want to take hold of the hand of God. There are none of us who do not at certain times crave divine direction and help.¬†

But the promise reads, “In¬†all¬†your ways”–that is¬†the¬†condition¬†of the promised direction.

We are very willing to acknowledge God while He directs us in the paths in which¬†we¬†are inclined to go–paths that are pleasant and agreeable to¬†us. We can easily submit to the sweet will of God, when it is indeed sweet to our natural taste. But how is it when God directs us to go the way we do not want to go–to do the thing that is unpleasant, and will cause pain, or require sacrifice or loss?¬†

How is it when the voice of God, answering to our request . . .
   bids us to take the path which leads to a cross;
   bids us to turn away from the pleasant thing that we crave;
   bids us to give up the dear friendship, which is drawing us away from Him; 
   bids us give into His hand, the child or loved one we so desire to keep with us?

“In all your ways” means the hard ways–as well as the easy ways; the thorny path–as wall as the path of flowers. Yet we are continually coming to points at which we hesitate. We say: “In all¬†but this, dear Lord–I can take Your way and do Your will.” Still the answer comes, “In all¬†My ways, My child.”¬†

There must be no reserve, no withholding, no exception. 

The¬†beloved sin¬†must be given up–though it seems only a little one, though giving it up is like cutting off a right hand or plucking out a right eye.¬†

The¬†hard path¬†must be taken–though it leads among thorns that pierce the feet, over the sharp stones, and through fire and flood.¬†

The¬†painful duty¬†must be done–though it costs us popularity, ease, or position; though it leads to poverty, suffering, or homelessness.¬†

The¬†bitter grief¬†must be accepted–though it seems to take all, and leave nothing.
It must be accepted sweetly, lovingly, cheerfully, with unquestioning surrender. 

The lesson is plain. Nothing must be withheld from God–whether it be in obedience, or in submission.¬†

The darling sin must be given up. 

The rough path must be walked over. 

That hard duty must be accepted. 

We must acknowledge the Lord in all our ways, if we would have Him direct our paths.

Looking at the world through the cross!

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Looking at the world through the cross!

(Octavius Winslow)

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14¬†

Jesus could accomplish man’s redemption in no other way than by crucifixion. He must die–and die the death of the cruel cross.¬†

What light and glory beam around the cross!

Of what prodigies of grace, is it the instrument, 
of what glorious truths, is it the symbol, 
of what mighty transforming power, is it the source! 

Around the cross gathers all the light of the Old Testament economy: 
  it explains every symbol, 
  it substantiates every shadow, 
  it solves every mystery, 
  it fulfills every type, 
  it confirms every prophecy, 
of that dispensation which had eternally remained unmeaning and inexplicable, but for the death of the Son of God upon the cross. 

Not the¬†past¬†only–but all¬†future¬†splendor gathers around the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. It assures us of the ultimate reign of the Savior, and tells of the reward which shall spring from His sufferings. And while its one arm points to the divine counsels of eternity past–with the other it points to the future triumph and glory of Christ’s kingdom in the eternity to come! Such is the lowly yet sublime, the weak yet mighty instrument, by which the sinner is saved and God eternally glorified.¬†

The cross of Christ is . . .
  the grand consummation of all preceding dispensations of God to men;
  the meritorious procuring cause of all spiritual blessings to our fallen race;
¬† the scene of Christ’s splendid victories over all His enemies and ours;
  the most powerful incentive to all evangelical holiness;
  the instrument which is to subjugate the world to the supremacy of Jesus;
  the source of all true peace, joy and hope;
  the tree beneath whose shadow all sin expires, all grace lives. 

The cross of our Lord Jesus Christ! 
What a holy thrill these words produce in the heart of those who love the Savior! 
How significant is their meaning, how precious is their influence! 

Marvelous and irresistible, is the power of the cross! The cross of Christ has . . .
  subdued many a rebellious will; 
  broken many a marble heart; 
  laid low many a vaunting foe; 
  overcome and triumphed, when all other instruments have failed; 
  transformed the lion like heart of man, into the lamb like heart of Christ! 

When lifted up in its own bare simplicity and inimitable grandeur–the cross of Christ has won and attracted millions to its faith, admiration, and love!¬†

What a marvelous power does this cross of Jesus possess! It changes the Christian’s entire judgment of the world.¬†Looking at the world through the cross–his opinion is totally revolutionized.¬†
He sees the world as it really is–a sinful, empty, vain thing.¬†
He learns its iniquity, in that it crucified the Lord of life and glory. 
His expectations from the world, and his love to the world, are transformed. 
He has found another object of love–the Savior whom the world cast out and slew.¬†
His love to the world is destroyed by that power which alone could destroy it–the crucifying power of the cross.¬†

It is the cross which eclipses, in the view of the true believer, the glory and attraction of every other object. 

What is the weapon by which faith combats with, and overcomes the world? What but the cross of Jesus! 

Just as the natural eye, gazing for a while upon the sun, is blinded for the moment to all other objects by its overpowering effulgence; so to the believer, concentrating his mind upon the glory of the crucified Savior, studying closely the wonders of¬†graceand¬†love¬†and¬†truth¬†meeting in the cross–the world with all its attraction fades into the full darkness of an eclipse.¬†

Christ and His cross infinitely better than the world and its trinkets! 

“May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14¬†

We shall not always live in this poor, dying, trying, suffering, sinful state!

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We shall not always live in this poor, dying, trying, suffering, sinful state! 

(Letters of John Newton)

Now¬†I know in part–then¬†I shall know fully.” Soon we shall see cause to number our¬†sharpest trials, among our¬†choicest mercies!¬†Then we shall say,¬†“He has done all things well.”

Our trials are but for a season.¬†We shall not always live in this poor, dying, trying, suffering, sinful state!¬†Yet a little while, and all our sorrows will be left below–and this poor earth will be exchanged for a glorious Heaven!

Our present troubles will soon be to us–as the remembrance of a¬†dream¬†when we awake!

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen–but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary–but what is unseen is eternal!” 2 Corinthians 4:16-18¬†

An immense ocean of everlasting love!

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An immense ocean of everlasting love!

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

Dear friend,
May Jesus be yours–all that He¬†is, and all that He¬†has. Then you will be as rich as an archangel!

May He captivate you more with His infinite beauty and enable you to live more blessedly upon His infinite fullness, that He may keep His royal court in your soul!

The more you are acquainted with Him, the more you will grow in love to Him; for He is altogether lovely, an immense ocean of everlasting love! The loveliness of the whole world is but a drop compared to His immeasurable love. What must Heaven be, where His love is to be fully manifested and enjoyed forever! There we shall see Him! Oh, for that day! 

But even along our pilgrim way, He walks with us and makes our hearts burn within us. These sweet foretastes of His love draw us on and whet our appetite for Heaven. A few more of these foretastes, and we shall get to the fountainhead and drink rivers of pleasure forevermore! 

To His precious dear heart’s love, I commend you and yours, and am for His sake your friend and servant,
William Romaine

When she kisses you!

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When she kisses you!

(Francis Quarles, 1592-1644)

Do you think, my soul, to be made happy by the smiles of the world–or unhappy by her frowns?¬†

When she fawns upon you, she deludes you. 

When she kisses you, she betrays you. 

Like Jael, she brings the milk in a lordly dish, and bears a hammer in her deadly hand. 

Trust not her¬†flattery, O my soul–nor let her¬†malice¬†move you.¬†

Her music is your enchantment, and her sweetness is your snare! 

She is the highway to eternal death! 

“Worldliness is the most thronged road to everlasting ruin!”¬†J.A. James

“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

“The world is a¬†sea, where we are tossed upon the surging waves of sorrow, and often in danger of shipwreck! The world is a¬†wilderness, full of fiery serpents!”¬†Thomas Watson¬†

Who shall have the glory–the worm or Jesus?

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Who shall have the glory–the worm or Jesus?

(Letters of William Romaine, 1714-1795)

I received your letter, and think you overlook our ever adorable Jesus, in setting any value upon a poor, dirty worm such as myself. 

If His grace raised this poor, dirty worm from a dunghill and set it upon a throne with His princes,¬†who shall have the glory–the worm or Jesus?¬†Shall any of His due praise be given to the worm? God forbid!

As vile and base as I am–yet He lets me approach Him and converse with Him freely.¬†

He condescends to admit me into fellowship with Him; and He opens His treasures and says, “All these are yours. I bought them for you with the price of My blood, but I give them to you as a free gift!”¬†

An infallible test!

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An infallible test!

(Samuel Davies, “The Nature of Love to God and Christ, Opened and Enforced”)

“If anyone does not love the Lord–a curse be on him!”¬†1 Corinthians 16:22

If you truly love the Lord Jesus Christ–then you earnestly study and endeavor to please Him by¬†a life of universal obedience. Love is always¬†desirous¬†to please the person beloved; and it will naturally lead to a¬†conduct¬†that is pleasing. This, then, you may be sure of, that if you truly love Jesus–then it is the labor of your life to please Him.

The only way to¬†please¬†Jesus, and the best¬†test¬†of your love to Him–is¬†obedience¬†to His commandments. This is made¬†the decisive mark¬†by Christ Himself: “If anyone¬†loves¬†Me–he will¬†obey¬†My teaching. He who does not love Me–will not¬†obey¬†My teaching.” John 14:23, 24

Jesus repeats this¬†theme¬†over and over in different forms: “Whoever has My commands and¬†obeys¬†them–he is the one who¬†lovesMe,” verse 21. “If you¬†love¬†Me–you will¬†obey¬†what I command,” verse 15. “You are My friends–if you¬†do¬†what I command.” John 15:14. “This is love for God,” says John; that is, it is the surest¬†evidence, and the natural, inseparable¬†effect¬†of our love to God, “that we¬†obey¬†His commands. And His commands are not burdensome.” 1 John 5:3; that is, they will not seem grievous to one who obeys them from the principle of sincere love.

Here, then, you who¬†profess¬†to love the Lord Jesus–here is¬†an infallible test¬†for your love! Do you make it the great aim of your life to keep His commandments? Do you honestly endeavor to perform every¬†duty¬†which He has required–and that because He has commanded it? And do you vigorously resist and struggle against every¬†sin, however constitutional, however fashionable, however gainful–because He forbids it? And is the way of obedience¬†pleasant¬†to you? Would you choose this holy way to Heaven, rather than any other–if it were left to your choice?

Your¬†not¬†loving¬†God–if it continues, will certainly lead you to Hell.¬†You are fit for no other place!¬†Where should the¬†enemies¬†of God be–but in an infernal prison? There is the same propriety in throwing you into Hell–as in shutting up madmen in bedlam, or rebels in a dungeon! Why, you are devilized already!¬†You have the very temperament of devils!¬†Enmity to God¬†is the grand constituent of a devil–it is the worst ingredient in that infernal disposition; and this you have in your hearts, and, as it were, incorporated with your habitual temperament! And what do you think will become of you? Judge for yourselves–must you not be doomed to that everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil and his angels–whom you resemble?

“If anyone does not love the Lord–a curse be on him!”¬†1 Corinthians 16:22

Wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption

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Wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, redemption

(Robert Traill)

“But from Him you are in Christ Jesus, who for us became:
 wisdom from God, 
 as well as righteousness,
 sanctification,
¬†and¬†redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:30

Wisdom¬†outside of Christ–is damning folly!¬†

Righteousness¬†outside of Christ–is guilt and condemnation!¬†

Sanctification¬†outside of Christ–is filth and sin!¬†

Redemption¬†outside of Christ–is bondage and slavery!

If a man trusts to his own righteousness, he rejects Christ’s righteousness.¬†
If he trusts to Christ’s righteousness, he rejects his own righteousness.

I know no true religion but Christianity.

I know no true Christianity but the doctrine of Christ:
  of His divine person,
  of His divine offices,
  of His divine righteousness, 
  and of His divine Spirit. 

I know no true ministers of Christ, but such as make it their business to commend Jesus Christ in His saving fullness of grace and glory, to the faith and love of men.

I know no true Christian, but one united to Christ by faith, and abiding in him by faith and love, unto the glorifying of the name of Jesus Christ, in the beauties of gospel-holiness.    

Quicken our poor, cold, lifeless souls!

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Quicken our poor, cold, lifeless souls! 

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

“My soul cleaves unto the dust–quicken me according to Your Word!” Psalm 119:25¬†

What powerful attractions the present world has! How prone we are . . .
  to sink down to its level,
  to become attached to its customs,
  and to cleave to its vanities! 
Yet, at the best, it is but dust. There is nothing in the world to satisfy or suit an immortal mind. 

Jesus died for us–to deliver us from this present evil world. The Holy Spirit urges us to rise above it, and offers us His divine and all-sufficient aid. He will not force, but only attract or draw. Alas! that we should . . .¬†
  slight His intimations,
  disregard His exhortations,
  and grieve His loving heart!

We are not of the world–and yet how worldly we are!¬†We are born from above–but yet how earthly we remain! Our souls go out after things that are carnal, drossy, dusty, contemptible–to the neglect of things that are spiritual, pure, holy, and invaluable.¬†

Heavenly Father, we confess our folly, we deplore our ingratitude, we condemn our conduct. We feel weak and feeble when we attempt to burst our bonds, and mount upwards to Your throne. O quicken, quicken us! By the power of Your Holy Spirit, and by bringing home Your inspired Word–quicken our poor, cold, lifeless souls!¬†

Have You not promised to be as the¬†dew¬†unto Your people, coming down graciously, gradually, and gently upon them–in order to revive their graces, quicken their devotions, and cause them to grow up into Christ? O come down upon our dry and thirsty souls as the dew–or fall like rain on tender grass, like gentle showers on young plants.

Quicken us–and so will we mount up to Your throne, and do Your righteous will. Quicken us–and so Jesus will be precious to us, and the work of the Lord will be pleasant to us.

Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe?

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Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe?

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(Samuel Davies, “The Justice of God–and the Sins of Our Country” 1755)

“When¬†disaster¬†comes to a city–has not the LORD caused it?” Amos 3:6

It concerns us all to seriously reflect upon our own sins and the sins of our land, which have brought these calamities upon us.

We and our countrymen are sinners, aggravated sinners! God proclaims that we are such:
  by His judgments now upon us,
  by withering fields and scanty harvests,
  by the sound of the trumpet and the alarm of war! 

O my country, is not your wickedness great, and your iniquities infinite?¬†Where is there a more¬†sinful spot¬†to be found upon our guilty globe?¬†Pass over the land, take a survey of the inhabitants, inspect into their conduct–and¬†what do you see? What do you hear?¬†

You see the¬†gigantic forms of vice¬†bidding defiance to the God of Heaven–while true religion and virtue are forced to retire to avoid public contempt and insult!¬†

You see herds of drunkards swilling down their cups, and drowning all morality within them! 

You hear the¬†swearer¬†venting his fury against God–trifling with that Name which prostrate angels adore, and imprecating that damnation, under which the hardiest devil in Hell trembles and groans!

You see avarice hoarding up her useless treasures, 
dishonest craft
 planning her schemes of unlawful gain, 
and oppression unmercifully grinding the face of the poor! 

You see prodigality squandering her stores! 

You see luxury spreading her table! 

You see¬†vanity¬†laughing aloud and dissolving in empty, unthinking mirth–regardless of God, of time and eternity!¬†

You see¬†sensuality¬†wallowing in carnal pleasures, and aspiring, with perverted ambition–to sink as low as her four-footed brethren in the stalls!

You see cards more in use than the Bible; 
the backgammon table more frequented than the table of the Lord; 
novels 
and¬†romances¬†more read–than the history of the blessed Jesus!¬†

You see trifling, and even evil diversions and amusements, become a gigantic business! 
The outcome of a horse-race is more anxiously attended to–than the concerns of eternity!¬†

And where these¬†grosser forms of vice¬†do not shock your senses–you often meet with the appearances of¬†a¬†more refined impiety, which is equally dangerous!

You hear the¬†conversation¬†of reasonable creatures, of candidates for eternity–engrossed by trifles, or vainly wasted on the affairs of time! These are their¬†important subjects¬†of conversation, even at the threshold of the house of God!

You see swarms of prayerless families all over our land! You see ignorant, wicked children, unrestrained and untaught by those to whom God and nature have entrusted their souls! 

You see the holy religion of Jesus–abused, neglected, disobeyed, and dishonored by its professors!¬†

You see crowds of professed believers, who are in reality, practical atheists! 
These nominal Christians are really unholy heathens! 
They are¬†abandoned slaves of sin–who yet pretend to be the servants of the holy Jesus!

You see multitudes¬†lying in a deep sleep in sin¬†all around us! You see them eager in the pursuits of the vanities of time–but stupidly unconcerned about the important realities of the eternal world just before them! So few are concerned what shall become of them–when all their connections with earth and flesh must be broken, and they must take their flight into strange, unknown regions! So few lamenting their sins! So few crying for mercy and a new heart! So few flying to Jesus!¬†

The only effectual reformer of the world!

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The only effectual reformer of the world!

(Samuel Davies, “Serious Reflections on WAR” 1757)

“When He comes–He will convict the world about sin, righteousness, and judgment!” John 16:8

The Holy Spirit is¬†the only effectual reformer of the world!¬†If He is absent–
  legislators may make laws against crime; 
  philosophers may reason against vice; 
  ministers may preach against sin; 
  conscience may remonstrate against evil;
  the divine law may prescribe, and threaten Hell; 
  the gospel may invite, and allure to Heaven; 
but all will be in vain!

The strongest arguments, the most melting entreaties, the most alarming denunciations from God and man, enforced with the highest authority, or the most compassionate tears–all will have no effect–all will not effectually reclaim one sinner, nor gain one sincere convert to righteousness!¬†

Paul, Apollos, and Peter, with all their apostolic abilities, can do nothing, without the Holy Spirit. Paul may plant the seed–and Apollos may water it; but God alone can make it grow! “So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything–but only God, who makes things grow!” 1 Corinthians 3:6, 7

Never will peace and harmony be established in this¬†jangling world–until this¬†Divine Agent¬†takes the work in hand.

It is He alone, who can melt down the obstinate hearts of men into love and peace! 

It is He alone, who can soften their rugged and savage tempers, and transform them into mutual benevolence! 

It is He alone–who can quench those lusts that set the world on fire, and implant the opposite virtues and graces. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control, are mentioned by Paul, as the¬†fruit of the Spirit, because the Spirit alone is the author of them. And if these dispositions were predominant in the world–what a serene, calm, peaceful region would it be,¬†undisturbed with the hurricanes of human passions!

Oh, how much do we need the influence of the blessed Spirit . . .
  to break the heart of stone,
  to enlighten the dark mind, and
  to comfort the desponding soul!

The only system adapted to his case!

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The only system adapted to his case!

(William Nicholson, “Pearls of Great Price!” 1855)

Viewing man as a fallen, sinful creature–the gospel is¬†the¬†only¬†system adapted to his case!¬†¬†
The more he contemplates it, the more he perceives its precious adaptation to his dreadful state. 
The gospel is . . .
  light, for the darkness of his reason; 
  peace, for the tumult of his conscience; 
  joy, for the anguish of his mind; 
  hope, for the gloom of his despair. 

Is he guilty? The gospel presents . . .
  an all-sufficient Savior,
  an all-atoning sacrifice,
  and an all-forgiving God. 

Is he impure? The gospel opens up for him a fountain for sin and for uncleanness–a hallowed flood supplied from the Redeemer’s cross, where the vilest sinner may wash from his heinous pollution.¬†

Is he alienated from God–at an infinite distance from the only source of happiness and forgiveness? The gospel is a medium of approach, a way of access to the thrice holy God. Here the Alpine mountains of his guilt are leveled to the dust. Here the prodigal returns, is freely received, fully forgiven, elevated to a place in his heavenly Father’s family, and never lost from his heavenly Father’s heart.¬†

Is he the victim of ignorance and error? Here he receives the lessons of a heavenly prophet–the¬†Spirit¬†of God becomes his kind instructor. Here the untutored savage is made wiser than the learned sage, “wise unto salvation!”

Does he feel himself the subject of passions that lead him continually astray from God? 
The same Spirit becomes the inhabitant of his bosom . . .
  to subdue his passions, 
  to curb his lusts, 
  to control his will, and 
  to sanctify the nature He has first renewed, and which shall finally be glorified with Christ. 

In every point of view, the gospel meets his case!

Is he a sinner? The gospel offers pardon!

Is he a debtor? The gospel grants him full payment of his dept! 

Is he a captive to sin and Satan? The gospel gives him liberty. 

Is he fallen into utter depravity? It elevates him to God’s throne, and constitutes him “a king and a priest unto God.”¬†

Is he thirsty? The gospel is a river of life. 

Is he weary? It is a sweet repose. 

Is he ignorant? The gospel is a divine instructor. 

Is he spiritually diseased? It is immortal health and vigor to his soul. 

Is he dying? The gospel is eternal life. 

Yes, in the gospel . . .
  the law is fulfilled,
  justice is atoned, and
¬† the divine perfections are harmonized in man’s redemption.

The cultivation of an insignificant life

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The cultivation of an insignificant life

(J.H. Jowett)

It is possible to evade a multitude of trials by the cultivation of an insignificant life.
 

Only One Life!

Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart, 
And from my mind would not depart:
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,¬†
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Only one life, yes only one, 
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,¬†
And stand before His Judgment seat.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,¬†
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Only one life, the still small voice, 
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave, 
And to God’s holy will to cleave.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,¬†
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes and fears;
Each with its days I must fulfill, 
living for self, or in His will.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,¬†
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

When this bright world would tempt me sore, 
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way, 
Then help me Lord with joy to say:
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,¬†
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Give me Father, a purpose deep, 
In joy or sorrow Your word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,¬†
Pleasing You in my daily life.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,¬†
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Oh let my love with fervor burn, 
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for You, and You alone, 
Bringing You pleasure on Your throne.
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,¬†
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

Only one life, yes only one, 
Now let me say, “Your will be done!”
And when at last I’ll hear the call,¬†
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all!”
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,¬†
Only what’s done for Christ will last!

        Author unknown
 

“Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you.
 Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you
¬†know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58

My heart feels for you, my dear friend, in your deep, deep trial

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My heart feels for you, my dear friend, in your deep, deep trial

Letters of Mary Winslow” 1774-1854

My heart feels for you, my dear friend, in your deep, deep trial. This present world is a world of sadness; but when we think of that glorious world which is to come, into which sorrow never enters, and how soon we may be there–we may well “rejoice in tribulation.” Our “light affliction, which is but for a moment, works for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory!”¬†

In all your sorrows, pour out your heart to the Man of sorrows. He will bow down His ear and listen to all that you say. He will either remove or moderate your trial, or give you strength to bear it. Even this bitter draught He has given you to drink shall result both in your good and His glory. 

Remember, not a sparrow falls upon the ground without His guidance, and that the very hairs of your head are all numbered. How much more has this trying event been ordered and arranged by Him who loves you! Infinite wisdom has appointed the whole! Never doubt that He loves you, when He most deeply afflicts. 

May He lift up upon you the light of His countenance, drawing you nearer to Himself, that you may see what a tender, loving heart He has for you, and¬†how deeply and tenderly and considerately He cares for you–as if there were not another poor sorrowful one to care for on the face of the whole earth!

“When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you.
 When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown!
 When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.
¬†For I am the¬†LORD, your God,¬†the Holy One of Israel, your Savior!”¬†Isaiah 43:2-3¬†¬†

A worldly Christianity

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A worldly Christianity 

(Octavius Winslow)

“Do not be conformed to this world.” Romans 12:2¬†

Professor of the gospel! Guard against the world; it is your undoing! Watch against conformity to it . . . 
  in your dress, 
  in your mode of living, 
  in the education of your children, 
  in the principles, motives, and policy that govern you. 

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit by . . . 
  any known inconsistency of conduct, 
  any sinful conformity to the world, 
  any inordinate pursuit of . . . 
    its wealth, 
    its honors, 
    its pleasures, 
    its friendships, 
    its great things. 

Pray against the sin of covetousness, that canker-worm that feeds at the root of so many souls! 

Pray against the love of dress, that sin that diverts the mind of so many professors from the simplicity of Christ, and takes the eye off from the true adornment! 

Pray against a thirst for light and trifling reading, that strange and sinful inconsistency of so many, the certain tendency of which is to starve the life of God in the soul, to engender a distaste for spiritual nourishment for the Word of God, for holy meditation, and for Divine communion and fellowship. 

Yes, pray against the spirit of worldly, sinful conformity in everything! 

Reader! are you a professing Christian? Then guard against¬†a worldly Christianity–a Christianity that wears a fair exterior, so far as it is composed of church attendance; but which excludes from it the cross of the meek and lowly Lamb of God–a Christianity which loves the world and the things of the world, “makes a fair show in the flesh,” speaks well of Christ–and yet betrays Him with a kiss.¬†

Oh, awful state! Oh, fearful deception! Oh, fatal delusion! 

The world is the sworn enemy of your Savior; let it not be your friend. No, come out of it and be separate!

Tomorrow comes, and they are in Hell!

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Tomorrow comes, and they are in Hell! 

(Samuel Davies, “The Objects, Grounds, and Evidences of the HOPE of the Righteous”)

“The wicked is driven away in his wickedness;
¬†but the righteous has hope in his death.” Proverbs 14:32

“The wicked is driven away in his wickedness.”
That is, the wicked man¬†dies–just as he¬†lived.
He lived in wickedness, and in wickedness he dies. 

His wickedness¬†sticks fast¬†upon him–when his earthly enjoyments, his friends, and all created comforts leave him forever.

The¬†guilt¬†of his wickedness lies heavy upon him–like a mountain of lead, ready to sink him into the depths of eternal misery!

And the principles of wickedness, which he indulged all his life, still live within him, even after the agonies of death; nay, they now arrive at a dreadful immortality, and produce an eternal Hell in his heart!

He leaves behind him not only all his¬†earthly comforts–but all the¬†little remains of goodness¬†which he seemed to have, while under the restraints of divine grace; and he carries nothing but his wickedness along with him into eternity! With this dreadful attendant–his wickedness–he must stand before the tribunal of his holy Judge! To leave his¬†earthly all¬†behind him, and die in the agonies of dissolving nature–this is terrible. But to¬†die in his wickedness–this is infinitely the most terrible of all!

He once¬†flattered¬†himself that though he¬†lived¬†in wickedness–that he would not¬†die¬†in it. He adopted many¬†resolutions¬†to amend, and forsake his wickedness toward the close of life, or upon a death-bed. But Oh! how sorely is he disappointed! After all his promising purposes and hopes, he¬†died¬†as he¬†lived–in wickedness!

This is generally the fate of veterans in sin. They are resolving and re-resolving to reform all their lives; but after all, they die the same as they lived. They intend to prepare for death and eternity, but just not today. They have always something else to do today; and therefore they put off this work until tomorrow. Tomorrow comes, and instead of reforming, they die in their wickedness. Tomorrow comes, and they are in Hell!

“The wicked is¬†driven¬†away in his wickedness.”¬†
He is driven away, in spite of all his reluctance. 
Let him cling to life ever so strongly, yet he must go! 
All his struggles are vain, and cannot add one moment to his life.

Indeed, the wicked have so little taste for Heaven, and are so much in love with this world–that if they leave it at all, they must be¬†driven¬†out of it–driven¬†out of it, whether they want or not!

When they hope for Heaven, they do in reality consider it but a shift, or a refuge, when they can no longer live in this, their favorite world. They do not at all desire Heaven–in comparison with this world. They would live forever in this present world, if they could have their choice. But let them grasp ever so hard, they must let go their hold. They must be¬†driven¬†away, like chaff before a whirlwind–driven away into the regions of¬†misery. Into the regions of misery, I say; for certainly the happiness of Heaven was never intended for such as are so averse to it; and who prefer this wretched world, with all its cares and sorrows–before Heaven itself!

“But the wicked will lose¬†hope. They have no escape. Their¬†hope¬†becomes despair.” Job 11:20

“When the wicked die, their¬†hopes¬†all perish!” Proverbs 11:7

“The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the¬†hope of the wicked¬†only in wrath!” Proverbs 11:23

Who is regulating affairs on this earth today–God, or the Devil?

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Who is regulating affairs on this earth today–God, or the Devil?¬†

(Arthur Pink, “The Sovereignty of God”)

Who is regulating affairs on this earth today–God, or the Devil?

That God reigns supreme in¬†Heaven, is generally conceded; but that He reigns supreme over this earth, is almost universally denied–if not directly, then indirectly. More and more men are relegating God to the background in their philosophizing and theorizing.¬†

Take the¬†material¬†realm. Not only is it denied that God¬†created¬†everything, by personal and direct action–but few believe that He has any immediate concern in regulating the works of His own hands. Everything is supposed to be ordered according to the (impersonal and abstract) “laws of Nature”. Thus is the Creator banished from His own creation! Therefore we need not be surprised that men, in their degrading conceptions, exclude Him from the realm of¬†human affairs.¬†

Throughout Christendom, with an almost negligible exception, the theory is held that¬†man¬†is “a free agent”, and therefore, man is the master of his fortunes and the determiner of his destiny.¬†

Who is regulating affairs on this earth today–God, or the Devil?¬†


What do the Scriptures say? If we believe their plain and positive declarations, no room is left for uncertainty. They affirm, again and again . . .
  that God is on the throne of His universe;
  that the scepter is in His hands;
¬† that He is directing all things “after the counsel of His own will”. Ephesians 1:11

The Scriptures affirm, not only that God created all things, but also that God is ruling and reigning over all the works of His hands. They affirm . . .
  that God is the Almighty,
  that His will is irreversible,
  that He is absolute sovereign in every realm of all His vast dominions. 

And surely it must be so. Only two alternatives are possible:
¬† God must either rule–or be ruled;
¬† God must either sway–or be swayed;
¬† God must either accomplish His own will–or be thwarted by His creatures.¬†

Accepting the fact that He is the “Most High God”, the only Potentate and King of kings, vested with perfect wisdom and illimitable power–the conclusion is irresistible, that He must be God¬†in fact–as well as in name!

It is in view of what we have briefly referred to above, that we say, present-day conditions call loudly for a new examination and new presentation of God’s omnipotence, God’s sufficiency, and God’s sovereignty. From every pulpit in the land it needs to be thundered forth–that God still reigns! What is needed now, as never before, is a full, positive, constructive setting forth of the Godhood of God. Drastic diseases call for drastic remedies. We know of nothing which is more calculated to infuse spiritual vigor into our souls, than a scriptural apprehension of the full character of God!

“Our God is in Heaven! He does whatever He pleases!” Psalm 115:3¬†

“The LORD does whatever pleases Him throughout all Heaven and earth, and on the seas and in their depths!” Psalm 135:6

“All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as He pleases with the powers of Heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back His hand or say to Him: What have you done?” Daniel 4:35¬†

“Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns!” Revelation 19:6¬†

What shadows we are–and what shadows we pursue!

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What shadows we are–and what shadows we pursue!

(Octavius Winslow)

“We were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a¬†shadow!” Job 8:9¬†

“He springs up like a flower and withers away; like a fleeting¬†shadow, he does not endure.” Job 14:2

“What is your life? You are a¬†vapor¬†that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” James 4:14

All is shadow here below! 

The¬†world¬†is a shadow–and is passing away!¬†

The¬†creature¬†is a shadow–and the loveliest and the fondest may be the first to die!¬†

Health¬†is a shadow–fading, and in a moment gone!

Wealth¬†is a shadow–today upon the summit of affluence, tomorrow at its base, plunged into poverty and dependence!

Human friendships¬†and¬†creature affections¬†are but shadows–sweet and pleasant while they last; but, with a worm feeding at the root of all created good, the sheltering gourd soon withers, exposing us to the sun’s burning heat by day, and to the frost’s cold chill by night!¬†

Oh, yes!¬†“Passing Away!”¬†is indelibly inscribed upon everything here below!¬†

Yet how slow we are to realize the solemn lesson: “What shadows we are–and what shadows we pursue!”¬†

Unconverted reader, what is your life–but a vapor that passes away?¬†
And what are your pursuits, but shadows–unreal, unsatisfying, evanescent?¬†

Your rank, your wealth, your honors, your pleasures, are but phantoms which appear but for a little while, and then are lost in the deeper shadow of the grave, and the still deeper and longer shadow of eternity! 

Oh, turn from these dreams and hallucinations, and, as a rational, accountable, immortal being, on your way to judgment–fix your mind upon your solemn, endless future! You are going to die! And, oh, when that dread hour comes, so real and appalling–how then will your past trifling life appear?

“As for man, his days are like grass, he flourishes like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.” Psalm 103:15-16¬†

“My days are like the evening shadow; I wither away like grass.” Psalm 102:11

“Man is like a breath; his days are like a fleeting shadow.” Psalm 144:4

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

I am the object of God’s tender, paternal, and ceaseless care!

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I am the object of God’s tender, paternal, and ceaseless care!

(“Comfort for the Desponding–Words to Soothe and Cheer Troubled Hearts!” 1864)

 

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

The Christian’s life is very much made up of¬†cares¬†and¬†comforts.
Cares spring from earth–comfort comes from Heaven.
Cares prove him a sinner–holy comforts prove him a saint.
Cares flow in from a variety of quarters–true comfort from only one quarter.
Cares come naturally–but comforts come supernaturally.¬†

Cares must be cast on our God–or they will prove a burden too heavy for us. They will depress us, bewilder us, and make us wretched. But here is our comfort–we have always ONE to care for us, and the very One which of all others we would wish to do so, “The¬†Lord¬†cares for you!”

God cares for whom? 
For you, who are born again by the Spirit. 
For you, who are strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 
For you, who are placed in humble circumstances, being numbered with the poor of this world. 
For you, who are compassed about with so many cares, and who enjoy so few comforts.
For you, who are surprised at your many fiery trials, as though some strange thing had happened unto you.
For you, who are worried and harassed by Satan, who, as a roaring lion, goes about seeking whom he may devour. 
For you, who are persecuted by the world, and hated by men for your Savior’s sake.¬†
For you, to whom Christ is precious–as He is to every one who truly believes in Him.¬†

God’s care extends to¬†every Christian¬†. . .
  the young and the aged,
  the weak and the strong,
  the poor and the wealthy,
  the doubting and the confident. 
Believer, He cares for you!

Who is it that cares for us?
It is the Lord, the high and lofty one who inhabits eternity, whose name is holy;
who is so¬†great–that we have no adequate conception of His greatness;
who is so¬†good–that it is impossible fully to set forth His goodness;
who is so¬†glorious–that no sinner can see His face and live.¬†
It is He . . .
   who created all things with His word,
   who governs all by His wisdom, 
   and upholds all by His power. 
His resources are infinite, 
His compassion is exquisite, and 
His patience is astonishingly great. 
He enters into all the circumstances of His redeemed people, is ever present with them, and rejoices over them to do them good. 

The angels obey Him, 
the seraphim adore Him, 
and all creation glorifies Him! 

But though He is so exalted, so holy, and so unspeakably great . . .
¬† He cares for you–as vile as you are.
¬† He cares for you–as sinful as you are.
¬† He cares for you–as depressed and discouraged as you are.¬†
He cares for you. He cares for you individually, and according to the circumstances in which you are placed.

What does He do? 
He cares for you!
He thinks of you!
He watches over you!
He sympathizes with you!
He feels the deepest interest in you!
He ever seeks your welfare!
He infallibly secures your good!

Your misery touches His heart,
your needs lie open to His view,
and your cries enter into His ears!

He cares for you more than for the proudest monarch on his throne! 

He cares for you–and His care is CONSTANT!¬†
It is not fitful or occasional–but ever the same.¬†

He cares for you–and His care is PATERNAL!¬†
It is the care of a father for his child–the child whom he tenderly loves, and for whose welfare he feels the deepest concern.¬†

He cares for you, and His care is PERPETUAL! 
He will never care for you less than He does at present. 
When old age weakens you, 
when poverty pinches you, 
when death appears just before you–
He will care for you as much as He does at this moment. 

He cares for you–and His care is BENEFICIAL!¬†
It prevents innumerable evils–and secures the greatest possible amount of good. His care is more advantageous than the care of the kindest father, though that father were monarch of the mightiest empire, and possessed unbounded wealth. The care of God is of more value than the care of all His creatures combined.¬†

He cares for you–but His care is MYSTERIOUSLY EXERCISED!¬†
It benefits us certainly–but secretly. It conceals itself behind the blessings it brings, and the evils it prevents.¬†

He cares for you–and His care is SPECIAL!¬†
It is not the care which He has for the beasts which perish, or the unbelieving sinners who die under His frown. 

He cares for you–and His care is PARTICULAR.¬†
It is care which extends to the very hairs of your heads, which, are all numbered–and to all the events and occurrences of your life, however minute or commonplace!

Beloved, here is our comfort. We may lose the care of an earthly relative or dear friend by death–but the Lord ever lives; and while He lives, He . . .
  ever loves us,
  thoroughly knows us, and
  never ceases to care for us!

Here is the ground of our confidence for the future. We know not¬†where¬†we shall be, nor¬†what¬†we shall be–for we know not what a day may bring forth. But this we know, that God will care for us, and, caring for us–He will fulfill His precious promises to us.¬†

If God cares for us, then . . .
   let us cast all our cares upon Him; 
   let us live in daily fellowship with Him; 
   let us seek all our supplies from Him. 

If God cares for us, then let us not dishonor Him by nursing our doubts, or encouraging our fears–but let us trust in Him at all times, for . . .
  His love is true, 
  His care is constant, and 
  His knowledge is perfect. 

We shall never be without a¬†divine¬†friend–however trying our circumstances may be. We shall never be without a¬†divine¬†guide–however perplexing or difficult our path may be. The care of God is more than the care of all the angelic hosts. If the care of God is not sufficient to preserve, supply, and satisfy us–then nothing is.

May the Lord help me to believe this precious truth, to realize it daily, and to pass through the present world under the impression, “I am the object of God’s tender, paternal, and ceaseless care!

Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you. He will never let the righteous fall!” Psalm 55:22

The man who has God for his portion!

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The man who has God for his portion!

(James Smith, “Gleams of Grace” 1860)

“You are¬†my portion, O LORD!” Psalm 119:57

If God is my portion, then I ought to be content without any other portion. He is . . .
  enough in poverty,
  enough in persecution,
  enough in life,
  enough in death,
  enough for evermore!

If God gives me Himself–then it is more than as if He had given me the whole world, or ten thousand worlds like this! O how happy was the apostle Paul, who knowing God to be his portion could say, “I have learned to be¬†content¬†whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned¬†the secret of being content¬†in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in need!” Philippians 4:11-12

If God is my portion, I ought to be¬†thankful. It is enough. There is no losing it. What dignity, what honor is conferred on¬†the man who has God for his portion!¬†I deserved to be stripped of everything, and to be turned out of God’s presence eternally penniless, wretched, and miserable. But instead of this, God in His free grace, in His infinite mercy–gives me . . .
  a heavenly mansion,
  a glorious city,
  an eternal kingdom,
  more, He gives me Himself! 
God in all His glory, in all His grace–is mine!

If God is my portion, then I ought to be¬†living upon Him. If I live upon anything outside of God–then I live upon what is finite, and will change. But if I live upon God, I live upon the infinite, and upon what is unchangeable. As a believer, I should live befitting the dignity of my lofty character, position, and prospects. The man of fortune ought not to live like the pauper. Just so, the Christian ought to live above other men.¬†

If God is my portion, I ought to be making a proper use of it. I should set my portion over and against . . .
  all my pains and privations,
  all my griefs and grievances, 
  all my sadnesses and sorrows. 

I should look¬†above¬†all my trials and troubles–and rejoice that throughout eternity, I shall have . . .
¬† eternal ease–instead of pain,
¬† eternal plenty–instead of privation,
¬† eternal joy–instead of grief,
¬† eternal gladness–instead of sadness,
¬† and eternal bliss–instead of sorrow!

Beloved, is the Lord your portion? Are you living upon Him as such?

But if God is not your portion–then what is?¬†
Where are your thoughts most? 
Where do your affections center? 
After what do you pursue? 
The world? It is a poor, fleeting, unsatisfying portion! 
It will be found insufficient, unsatisfactory, and perishing! 

Unless God is your portion, you will be . . .
  unsatisfied in life,
  wretched in death, and
¬† indescribably miserable to all eternity!¬†flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and¬†my portion¬†forever!” Psalm 73:26

This is not mine to keep!

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This is not mine to keep!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Do not store up for yourselves¬†treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves¬†treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:19-21¬†

Christian! If you have anything that you prize very highly, hold it very loosely–for you may easily lose it.¬†

Hold everything earthly with a loose hand, but grasp eternal things with a deathlike grip.

Of everything on earth, it is wise for us to say, “This is not mine to keep!” It is essential to realize that this it is true, for everything here is temporary.

Mind what you are doing–you prosperous people, you who have nice homes, you who are hoarding up money. There is nothing permanent for you here on earth. Your home is in Heaven–your home is not here. If you find your treasure here–your heart will be here also.¬†

You must keep all earthly treasures out of your heart. 

Let Christ be your treasure, and let Him have your heart!

“This world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God, will live forever!” 1 John 2:17¬†

I am eternally His!

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I am eternally His!

(Thomas Brooks)

I am His by election, and I am His by regeneration. 
I am His by purchase, and I am His by conquest. 
I am His by covenant, and I am His by marriage. 
I am wholly His. 
I am supremely His. 
I am particularly His. 
I am eternally His!

Once I was a slave, but now I am His dear son.
Once I was spiritually dead, but now I am spiritually alive.
Once I was in darkness, but now I walk in light.
Once I was a child of wrath and an heir of Hell, but now I am an heir of Heaven.
Once I was Satan’s slave, but now I am God’s freeman.
Once I was under the spirit of bondage, but now I have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby I cry,¬†“Abba, Father!”

The ten-cent-store Jesus!

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The ten-cent-store Jesus! 

(A.W. Tozer)

“His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes were like blazing fire. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of rushing waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance!” Revelation 1:14-16¬†

Unfortunately,¬†the ten-cent-store Jesus¬†being preached now by many–is not the Jesus that will come to judge the world.

This¬†harmless, plastic, painted Jesus¬†who has no spine, nor justice, nor wrath–but is a soft and pliant friend to everybody;¬† if He is the only Christ, then we might as well close our Bibles, bar our doors and make a bakery or garage out of our church buildings!

The popular Christ being preached today–is not the Christ of the Bible, nor the Christ who will be our final Judge.¬†

Jesus Christ our Lord, the Judge with the flaming eyes–is the one with whom we must deal. We cannot escape it.

“Then the kings of the earth, the princes, the generals, the rich, the mighty, and every slave and every free man hid in caves and among the rocks of the mountains. 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 6:15-17¬†

More fit to be called a devil than a parent!

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More fit to be called a devil than a parent!

(Richard Baxter)
 
“Bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4

Parents! Your example and life are a continual and powerful sermon which is always seen by your children!

Parents! Your children have an¬†everlasting inheritance of happiness¬†to attain–and it is that which you must bring them up for. They have an¬†endless misery¬†to escape–and it is that which you must diligently teach them. If you don’t teach them to know God, and how to serve Him, and be saved, and to escape the flames of Hell–you teach them nothing, or worse than nothing.¬†It is in your hands to do them the greatest kindness or cruelty in all the world!¬†Help them to know God and to be saved, and you do more for them than if you helped them to be kings or princes.¬†

If you neglect their souls, and bring them up them in ignorance, worldliness, ungodliness, and sin–you¬†betray them to the devil,the enemy of their souls, even as truly as if you sold them to him!¬†You sell them to be slaves to Satan!¬†You betray them to him who will deceive them and abuse them in this life–and torment them in eternity!

If you saw but a burning furnace, much more the flames of Hell–would you not think that man or woman¬†more fit to be called a devil than a parent, who could find in their hearts to cast their child into it? What¬†monsters then of inhumanity¬†are you, who read in Scripture what is the way to Hell, and who they are that God will deliver up to Satan, to be tormented by him–and yet will bring up your children in that very way, and will not take pains to save them from it!

If you love them, show it in those things on which their everlasting welfare depends. Do not say you love them, and yet lead them unto Hell! If you do not love them, yet do not be so unmerciful to them as to damn them! You cannot possibly do more to damn them, than to bring them up in . . .
  ignorance,
  carelessness,
  worldliness,
  sensuality and
  ungodliness!
There is no other way to Hell. And yet, will you bring them up in such a life–and say that you do not desire to damn them?¬†

But if you train up your children in ungodliness, you may as well say that¬†you intend to have them damned!¬†And is not the devil more excusable, for dealing thus cruelly to your children–than you who are their parents, who are bound by nature to love them, and prevent their misery?

Let me seriously speak to the hearts of those careless and ungodly parents, who neglect the holy education of their children. Oh, do not be so unmerciful to those who you have brought into the world! Oh, pity and help the souls that you have defiled and undone! Have mercy on the souls that must perish in Hell, if they are not saved! Oh help them who have . . .
  so many enemies to assault them;
  so many temptations to pass through;
  so many difficulties to overcome; 
  so severe a judgment to undergo! 
Help them who are so weak, and so easily deceived and overthrown! 
Help them speedily–before sin hardens them, and Satan makes a stronger fortress in their hearts!

Ever since you rose from your bed this morning–there has been an eye watching you!

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Ever since you rose from your bed this morning–there has been an eye watching you!

(Francis Bourdillon, “The Odd Five Minutes” 1873)

“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 account!” Hebrews 4:13¬†

Ever since you rose from your bed this morning–there has been an eye watching you!
¬†Wherever¬†you have been and¬†whatever¬†you have been doing–that eye has seen you. It has gone with you to your work. It has seen you with your companions. It has been on you when you were alone.¬†

It has seen not merely all that you have done, but¬†why¬†you did it. Your thoughts, your feelings, your motives, which even your nearest friend has not fully known–have all been open to that eye of which I speak. For it is¬†an all-seeing eye–the eye of God!

“His eyes are on the ways of men–He sees their every step!” Job 34:21¬†

“He knows the¬†secrets¬†of the heart!” Psalm 44:21¬†

“You have set our iniquities before You–our¬†secret sins¬†in the light of your presence!” Psalm 90:8¬†

Have you thought of Him whose eye has been upon you today? 
Have you given so much as one thought to Him, since the day began? 

You have need to pray, great need–for you are dependent upon God for everything. You are entirely in His hand!¬†

If you went to your work this morning strong and well–it was only because God made you so and kept you so.¬†

If you have had enough to eat today, if you are clothed comfortably and have a home to live in–it is only because God supplies your needs. You would have nothing–if God did not supply you. You live–only because He gives you life. He could take all your comforts from you–if it pleased Him. He could lay you on a bed of sickness this very day–He could in a moment, strike you dead!

Have you even spoken to Him today? Have you prayed to Him today?

“I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear Him!” Luke 12:5

Here is a constellation of wonders!

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Here is a constellation of wonders! 

(Charles Spurgeon) 

“The¬†forgiveness¬†of sins, according to the riches of His grace.” Ephesians 1:7¬†

Could there be a sweeter word in any language than that word “forgiveness,” when it sounds in a guilty sinner’s ear!¬†

Can it be possible that sin–such heinous sin as¬†mine–can be forgiven, forgiven altogether, and forever? Hell is my portion as a sinner–there is no possibility of my escaping from it while sin remains upon me.¬†

Can the unfathomable load of my guilt be removed? Can the crimson stain of my sins be blotted out? 
Can the adamantine stones of my prison-house ever be loosed, or the doors be lifted from their hinges? 

Jesus tells me that I may yet be forgiven. Forever blessed be the revelation of¬†redeeming love, which not only tells me that pardon is possible–but that it is¬†secured¬†to all who rest in Jesus. I have believed in the appointed sin-atoning sacrifice, even Jesus crucified, and therefore my sins are at this moment, and forever–forgiven by virtue of His substitutionary sufferings and death! What joy is this!¬†What bliss to be a perfectly pardoned soul!¬†My soul dedicates all her powers to Him who of His own unpurchasable love became my surety, and wrought out for me redemption through His blood.¬†

What riches of grace does free forgiveness exhibit! 
To forgive at all, 
to forgive fully, 
to forgive freely, 
to forgive forever! 
Here is a constellation of wonders! 

When I think of . . .
  how great my sins were,
  how dear were the precious drops which cleansed me from them, and
  how gracious was the method by which pardon was sealed home to me,
I am in a maze of wondering worshiping affection! 
I bow before the throne which absolves me!
I clasp the cross which delivers me!
I serve henceforth all my days–the Incarnate God, through whom I am this day a pardoned soul!¬†

Blessed are those whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.  
¬†Blessed¬†is the man¬†whose sin the Lord will never count against him!”¬†Romans 4:7-8¬†

Oh how ashamed you would be if men could see your thoughts!

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Oh how ashamed you would be if men could see your thoughts! 

(Richard Baxter)

Oh how ashamed you would be if men could see your thoughts! 

Is not the eye of God ten thousand times more to be regarded?

You alone know each human heart!” 2 Chronicles 6:30¬†

Behold,¬†I know your thoughts!” Job 21:27¬†

“Would not God have discovered it,¬†since¬†He knows the secrets of the heart?”¬†Psalm 44:21¬†

“You have set our iniquities before You,¬†our secret sins¬†in the light of Your presence!”¬†Psalm 90:8¬†

“You know when I sit and when I rise;¬†You perceive my thoughts¬†from afar!”¬†Psalm 139:2¬†

“Death and Destruction lie open before the¬†LORDhow much more the¬†hearts of men!¬†Proverbs 15:11¬†

I know what is going through your mind.” Ezekiel 11:5¬†

“I know their works and¬†their thoughts.” Isaiah 66:18

Lord, You know everyone’s heart.” Acts 1:24¬†

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

“God, through Jesus Christ, will judge¬†the secret thoughts¬†of all.” Romans 2:16¬†

“Therefore judge nothing before the appointed time; wait till the Lord comes. He will bring to light what is hidden in darkness and will expose¬†the motives of men’s hearts.” 1 Corinthians 4:5

“Search me, O God, and¬†know my heart; test me and¬†know my anxious thoughts.
¬†See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”¬†
   Psalm 139:23-24 

Heaven has become a trifle to you, Hell is almost a jest, eternity an empty notion, and death but a bugbear!

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Heaven has become a trifle to you, Hell is almost a jest, eternity an empty notion, and death but a bugbear!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Many, I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able!” Luke 13:24

I do not wonder that so many are deceived, when I see the careless way in which they deal with their souls. When men have to do with their estates, they are very careful; they pay a lawyer to go back over the title-deeds perhaps for two or three hundred years. In trade they will hurry hither and thither to attend to their commercial engagements; they would not launch into speculations, nor would they run great risks. 

But the¬†soul, the poor soul–how men¬†play¬†with it as a toy, and¬†despise¬†it as if it were worthless! Two or three minutes in the morning when they first roll out of bed; two or three odd minutes in the evening, when they are nearly asleep–the fag-ends of the day given to their souls, and all the best part given to the body!¬†

And then, with what indifference do you lend your ears too often to the preaching of the Word! It is an old song–you have heard it so many times.¬†Heaven has become a trifle to you, Hell is almost a jest, eternity an empty notion, and death but a bugbear!

Alas! it is a marvel that there are not more deceived. The wonder is that any find the gate, that any discover eternal life, when we are so, so mad, so foolish, so insane–as to trifle where we ought to be solemnly in earnest; and to play and toy–where the whole heart should be given to a work of such everlasting importance. God help us, since it is so easy to be deceived–to search, and watch, and look, and test, and try, that we be not found castaways at the last!

“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¬†

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you–unless, of course, you fail the test?” 2 Corinthians 13:5

A beloved child, watched over, cared for, supplied, and defended by your Lord!

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A beloved child, watched over, cared for, supplied, and defended by your Lord!

(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 which He does not consider. There is nothing which 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 too. Do not deny it or doubt it: “The very hairs of your head are all numbered!” It would be a sad thing for us if His mantle of love did not cover all our concerns–for what harm might be wrought to us if any of our matters did not come under our gracious Lord’s care!¬†

Believer, rest assured that the heart of Jesus cares about your smaller 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, His redeemed child. The smallest interests of all His saints–are all borne upon the broad bosom of the Son of God. Oh, what a heart is His, that does not merely comprehend the salvation of His people–but comprehends also, all their diverse and innumerable concerns!¬†

Do you think, O Christian, that you can¬†measure¬†the love of Christ? Think of what His love has brought you–justification, adoption, sanctification, eternal life! The riches of His goodness are unsearchable; you shall never be able to¬†tally¬†them–or even¬†conceive¬†them. Oh, the breadth of the love of Christ!

Shall such a love as this have¬†half¬†our hearts? Shall it have a¬†cold¬†love in return? Shall Jesus’ marvelous loving-kindness and tender care, meet with but faint response and tardy acknowledgment?¬†

O my soul, you are no desolate wanderer–but¬†a beloved child, watched over, cared for, supplied, and defended by your Lord!

“May you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep His love is. May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully!” Ephesians 3:18-19

When a tear is wept by you–do not think that God does not behold it

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When a tear is wept by you–do not think that God does not behold it

(Charles Spurgeon)

“The LORD said:
  I have indeed seen the misery of My people in Egypt.
  I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers,
  and I am concerned about their suffering.
¬† So I have come down to¬†rescue¬†them . . .” Exodus 3:7, 8

Perhaps no figure of speech represents God in a more gracious light, than when He is spoken of as stooping from His throne and coming down from Heaven to attend to the wants and woes of His redeemed people. 

How can we but love Him, when we know that He . . .
  numbers the very hairs of our heads,
  marks all our paths, and
  orders all our ways?

When a tear is wept by you–do not think that God does not behold it
, for . . .
“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¬†

Your sigh is able to move the heart of Jehovah, 
your whisper can incline His ear unto you, 
your prayer can stay His hand, 
your faith can move His arm!

Do not think that God sits on high taking no account of you. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect toward Him.

There is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life!

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There is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life!

(Charles Spurgeon) 

“Be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age!” Matthew 28:20¬†

It is well that there is One who is ever the same, and who is ever with us. It is well that¬†there is one stable rock amidst the billows of the sea of life. O my soul, do not set your affections upon rusting, moth-eaten, decaying treasures–but set your heart upon Him who abides forever faithful to you. Do not build your house upon the moving quicksands of a deceitful world–but found your hopes upon this rock, which, amid descending rain and roaring floods, shall stand immovably secure!

My soul, I charge you–lay up your¬†treasure¬†in the only secure cabinet; store your¬†jewels¬†where you can never lose them. Put your¬†all¬†in Christ; set . . .
  all your affections on His person,
  all your hope in His merit,
  all your trust in His efficacious blood,
  all your joy in His presence,
and so you may laugh at loss and defy difficulties. 

Remember that¬†all the flowers in the world’s garden wither and die–and the day is coming when nothing will be left but the black, cold earth.¬†Death’s black extinguisher¬†must soon put out your candle. Oh! how sweet to have¬†sunlight–when the¬†candle¬†is gone! The¬†dark flood¬†must soon roll between you and all you have!¬†

So wed your heart to Him who will never leave you. Trust yourself with Him who will go with you through the black and surging current of death’s stream, and who will land you safely on the celestial shore, and make you sit with Him in heavenly places forever!¬†

Go, sorrowing son of affliction–tell your secret troubles to the Friend who sticks closer than a brother. Trust all your concerns with Him . . .
  who never can be taken from you,
  who will never leave you, and
¬† who will never let you leave Him, even “Jesus Christ, the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”¬†

“I am with you always,”¬†is enough for my soul to live upon–though all others forsake me!

“I‚Äôve never seen so clearly since going blind” 20 Years Of Sight-loss!

Me playing my Taylor K22ce at church and in front of a cross on the wall

Hi friends. As it is 20 years to the day since i went blind…I thought i’d share one of my older posts(yet updated) from 4 years ago when i was asked to share a little of what i went through when i lost my sight at 24.

I really hope that you’ll have the time to read it, and that it blesses you in some small way?! 

Here Goes…

I was asked by our Minister Nik if i would share my Testimony in the parade service. The theme was ‚ÄėFaith through Adversity‚Äô, Nik said “i can ask you some straight forward questions, it will only take about 5 minutes(or so we thought)‚ÄĚ ‚ÄúYeah, ok, if you think it will help?‚ÄĚ.

Sunday 8th May 2016…

Walking into the church building Sunday morning, it was quite full, as it was parade service, the scouts and other uniformed groups were there, but Nik found us seats at the front, then showed me up the steps and where i’d stand to speak, after testing the microphone i remembered the steps and sat back down. 

As i‚Äôm blind, i can‚Äôt use any notes, so i spent a little time trying to etch some answer headings into my mind, hoping i‚Äôd not veer too far off track. I then prayed that i‚Äôd use this time to Glorify Him, as i talked about the Truth that sets us free, and how i‚Äôm not ashamed of the Gospel, it‚Äôs the power of God unto Salvation to all who believe…please make it real(be careful praying this, lol).

It;s time…

Steve, we are looking at people who have showed faith in difficult circumstances and I have asked you to share some of your story with us.

Many people here, even those who have seen you around at various church events may not know that you are blind.

My Testimony…

Nik stood next to me at the microphone and started with the first 2 questions:

Have you always been blind? How and when did you loose your sight?

I explained i’d been fully sighted until i was 24, and after 2 brain haemorrhages(March РJuly 2000) that burst my optic nerve, i’m now registered blind and have Severe Hypertensive Retinopathy.

“How did that change your life?”

I said ‚ÄúI can only scratch the surface this morning, but if ever you see me walking around here or in town, please ask me anything. But now i’ll try and sketch you a quick picture and give you a flavour of what happened‚Ķ”

‚ÄúI went to the gym 6-7 days a week, played football most evenings and was quite violent, acting the tough guy. ¬†I wasn‚Äôt a Christian, i hadn‚Äôt been born again, or even been inside a church building‚Ķso‚ĶAs i stepped out of the eye consultants office after being told i‚Äôd be blind for the rest of my life, it was out of character but i collapsed on the floor sobbingg my eyes out. And as my crying out got a little too loud they pulled me into a small empty room‚Ķ.And this was the easy bit‚ÄĚ.

‚ÄúFollowing this was pure isolation… all my football mates left me, i lost my job, my car and ability to do anything…i lost everything, i was completely broken, and on top of that i was left to my acusing thoughts ‚ÄúNobody wants you, you‚Äôre useless now, unwanted, rejected, unloved and unlovable!!‚ÄĚ

Suddenly, as i was telling my story…

My mouth was silenced, an image of Jesus in Glory(Revelation 1) filled my mind, it was so clear(not blurred by my blindness) I could see His flaming eyes of judgment…then…the image changed, it was Jesus on the cross, now His eyes were filled with Mercy, Compassion & Grace, and while looking down straight at me he said “I did this for you, so that you can live. I…LOVE…YOU!!!

I started sobbing uncontrollably, and it took a couple of minutes for me to try and start talking again….but more sobbing…i was completely undone. But these tears were different!

I already knew He’d given His life so i could live. He’d come down so far¬†to save me it is immeasurable. His blood washed me clean, white as snow. He’s forgiven me all my sins, past, present and future, and there is no more condemnation for me, it is finished!

I‚Äôd been ¬†praying for so long for God to ‚ÄúBreak my heart for what broke His‚ÄĚ and sang the songs many times, but rarely had i caught a glimpse of the true cost of His Love, and His free gift of Grace to those who Repent and Believe in Him. I knew He wanted me to share the True Gospel to people listening(and now reading), as it alone is the only Hope. It is the Power of God unto Salvation for anyone that believes.

Still sobbing, i continued…

My every word was a different pitch but i said “My pit was so dark, my accusing thoughts were too heavy, and this led to a daily cycle of waking up and trying to kill myself…failing, which made me feel worse…then drinking so much i could drown them out for the rest of the day, until i woke the next day, then it started again. 

I didn‚Äôt have the strength to kill myself, and i didn‚Äôt have the strength to live…i was without God, and without Hope!

Nik, who‚Äôs hand was rested on my shoulder asked question 4 “I know you were deeply unhappy at the time, what changed that?”

The world followed it’s pattern and sent me to Counselling, then Psychotherapy & finally Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, they didn’t work, they all had no answer for me, they couldn’t reach far enough down to pull me out. I needed a Saviour, I needed the light of the Gospel! 

The Good News & Lovely Sarah

Meeting Sarah changed my life! I have no idea how she’s put up with me. She’s  been so patient and long suffering as i tried attacking her Faith and this Jesus! But she kept on loving me. Sarah always seemed to have a rock to stand on no matter how bad things got for her, and i was being dragged deeper into the sinking sand. She always had this Blessed Hope that i didn’t,

Jesus worked through Sarah to shine the light of the Gospel, the Good News i was dying for. 

Words failed me as i was trying to describe how much i love Sarah, so when my mind filled with thoughts of how far we’ve grown together in love…i broke down again. 

The sobbing was still making me pause every few words, but mentioned Jesus doesn’t want to see anyone perish, but he pursues you, He has come to seek and save that which is lost. He loves you and no matter how bad or hopeless you think you are, He’ll keep coming with His free gift of Salvation!

Nik asked Question 5 “some people would say that your life must be worse now, would you agree with them?”

I’d gone way over my time slot, and i was almost pulled away from the mic as i was so overwhelmed…BUT i knew these tears were not about me, or my losses. I had 1 focus and that was to share the Truth that sets us free. I had no feeling of sorrow or pain. I knew it must have seemed like this to the congregation, and i thought they’d stick me in a counselling room when i’d finished!

The Holy Spirit was filling me like never before, and made the Power of the Gospel so real to me i almost exploded.

I continued ‚ÄúI wouldn‚Äôt agree with anyone who thinks(or measures) life by how good our circumstances are. I‚Äôd lead them to 2 Corinthians 4 & 5 where it talks about living by Faith, not by Sight, and now that we are born again in the Spirit, we should walk by the Spirit. Not living for things that are seen which are temporary(like my sight loss), but living for the unseen which is Eternal‚ÄĚ

‚ÄúI used to hate this song, but now i‚Äôd play it every service if i could‚Ķhave you heard Amazing Grace, the Chris Tomlin version? If you pass me in the street you‚Äôll normally hear me singing or humming these words:”

“Amazing grace how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me.¬†I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see. My chains are gone I’ve been set free. My God, my Saviour has ransomed me. And like a flood His mercy reigns. Unending love, amazing grace‚ÄĚ.

‚ÄúI‚Äôve never seen so clearly since going blind‚ÄĚ This is one of my fave sayings.¬†ūüėĬ†

Nik then walked me back to my seat next to Sarah. The church was completely silent, it had been silent since i first started sobbing. I could feel Sarah was upset as she didn‚Äôt react for a while, then she said ‚ÄúPeople kept on running up and passing me tissues‚ÄĚ. Nik sat down next to Sarah, and Sarah said ‚ÄúYou‚Äôre not borrowing him again to speak‚ÄĚ.¬†

After the service people came over and said they really connected with the things i said, although i think everyone thinks i’m back in dark depression again, lol.

He showed me the reality and Power of transformation in His Gospel, and how vital it is to share it, as Jesus is the  Way, the Truth and the Life and no-one gets to  the Father but by Him. He’s the forgiver of Sins, breaker of chains, and the only Salvation for Eternal Life in Heaven.

John 3:14-21 New King James Version (NKJV)

14 And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 15 that whoever believes in Him should not perish but[a] have eternal life. 16 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

18 ‚ÄúHe who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. 21 But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.‚ÄĚ

I felt i needed to share this post to try and explain a little more of what was happening to me, and maybe reach out to someone who is struggling with the creeping death called Depression,or who is just simply lost and without God, and without Hope.

Related Post: My Full Testimony 

No Ceiling To Hope

 

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If there is someone reading this who is overwhelmed by guilt, shame, loneliness or is experiencing the creeping death called depression, then I’d just like to give you hope. The hope that although you may feel that no one cares and that there’s nothing to live for anymore, there’s no pit too deep that God won’t reach down and lift you out of. Growing up no-one told me about Jesus and the Gospel of Good news, My lovely Wife Sarah was the first to explain it to me so i’d love for this blog to be a shining light in a dark tunnel

This is a post for anyone out there who is struggling at the moment. I just wanted to try and inspire you with some of the Songs/Poems i’ve posted on here. Some will have already read them, but its really on my heart to try and help you as you fight with your day to day struggles. Peace be with you.

page links for my Songs/Poems: 

Please check out my ‚ÄúTestimony‚ÄĚ page to read a little more about my journey.

Yay….11th Wedding Anniversary & The Marriage Altar‚ÄĒand After

Yay…..It’s Our 11th Wedding anniversary!!

Hi all…..Today is a really long post as it’s a special day for Sarah & i. I really hope you read through to the end and be blessed! 

Ephesians 5:25-27 The Voice (VOICE)

Husbands, you must love your wives so deeply, purely, and sacrificially that we can understand it only when we compare it to the love the Anointed One has for His bride, the church. We know He gave Himself up completely to make her His own, washing her clean of all her impurity with water and the powerful presence of His word. He has given Himself so that He can present the church as His radiant bride, unstained, unwrinkled, and unblemished‚ÄĒcompletely free from all impurity‚ÄĒholy and innocent before Him.

My Thoughts…

Each time our wedding anniversary comes round, i can‚Äôt believe how much our marriage has grown more and more fruitful. Our love keeps blossoming through every season and i thank God for Sarah who is not only my best friend, but my amazing wife! ūüôā¬†

I thank God for sustaining our marriage in Purity and Truth. 

I thank God for not leaving us alone to figure out what to do, but for giving us, teaching, correction, training and a perfect Holy example to follow through the Holy Spirit…to reflect the personal and intimate union between Christ and His Church. The mystery of marriage is its reflection of the oneness of Christ, the Husband, and His Church, the Bride of Christ.

1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Amplified Bible

Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. It is not rude; it is not self-seeking, it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. It does not rejoice at injustice, but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening].

Love never fails…

Sarah i wedding photo

Sarah on wedding day png1

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The Marriage Altar‚ÄĒand After

J. R. Miller, 1880

preparations are all at last made. The bridal dress is completed. The day has been fixed. The invitations have been sent out. The hour comes. Two young hearts are throbbing with love and joy. A brilliant company, music, flowers, a solemn hush‚ÄĒas the happy pair approach the altar, the repetition of the sacred words of the marriage ceremony, the clasping of hands, the mutual covenants and promises, the giving and receiving of the ring, the final “Whom God has joined together‚ÄĒlet not man put asunder,” the prayer and blessing‚ÄĒand the¬†twain are one flesh. There are tears and congratulations, hurried good-byes, and a new bark puts out upon the sea, freighted with high hopes. God grant it may never be¬†dashed upon any hidden rock¬†and wrecked!

Marriage is very like the bringing together of two instruments of music. The first thing, is to get them keyed to the same pitch. Before a concert begins you hear the musicians striking chords and keying their instruments, until at length they all perfectly accord. Then they come out and play some rare piece of music, without a discord or a jar in any of its parts.

No two lives, however thorough their former acquaintance may have been, however long they may have moved together in society or mingled in the closer and more intimate relations of a ripening friendship, ever find themselves¬†perfectly in harmony¬†on their marriage-day. It is only when that¬†mysterious blending¬†begins after marriage, which no language can explain‚ÄĒthat each finds so much in the other that was never discovered before. There are¬†beauties¬†and¬†excellences¬†that were never disclosed, even to¬†love’s partial eye, in all the days of familiar intimacy. There are¬†peculiarities¬†and¬†blemishes¬†which were never seen to exist‚ÄĒuntil they began to make themselves manifest within the veil of the matrimonial temple. There are¬†incompatibilities¬†that were never dreamed of‚ÄĒuntil they were revealed in the abrasions of domestic life. There are¬†faults¬†which neither even suspected, in the temper and habits of the other!

Before marriage young people are on their good behavior. They do not¬†exhibit their infirmities.¬†Selfishness¬†is hidden under garments of courtesy and gallantry. Each forgets¬†SELF‚ÄĒin romantic devotion to the other. The voice is softened and made tender, and even tremulous, by¬†love. The music flows with a holy rhythm mellowed by affection’s gentleness. Everything that would make an unfavorable impression, is scrupulously put under lock and key. So there is harmony of no ordinary sweetness made by the two young lives, unvexed by one discordant note.

Marriage is a¬†great mystery. “The¬†twain¬†shall be¬†one¬†flesh” is no mere figure of speech. Years of closest, most familiar, most unrestrained intimacy, bring lives very close together‚ÄĒbut there is still a¬†separating wall¬†which marriage breaks down. The two lives become one. Each opens every nook, every chamber, every cranny, to the other. There is a mutual interflow, life pouring into life.

There may have been no intention on the part of either, to deceive the other in the smallest matter, or to cloak the smallest infirmity. But the disclosure could not, in the very nature of things, have been any more perfect. Each stood in the porch of a house, or at the most sat in its parlor, never entering any of the inner rooms. Now the whole house is thrown open, and many hitherto unsuspected things are seen!

Too often the¬†restraint¬†seems to fall off, when the¬†matrimonial chain¬†is riveted. No effort is longer made to curb the bad tempers and evil propensities. The delicate robe of politeness is torn away, and many a rudeness appears. It seems to be considered no longer necessary, to continue the old thoughtfulness.¬†Selfishness¬†begins to assert itself. The¬†sweet amenities¬†of the wooing-days are laid aside‚ÄĒand the result is unhappiness! Many a young bride cries herself sick half a dozen times, before she has been a month a bride, and wishes she were back in the bright, happy home of her youth! Oftentimes both the newly-wedded pair become discouraged, and think in their hearts that they have made a mistake!

And yet there is really no reason for discouragement. The marriage may yet be made happy. There is need only for large and wise patience. The two lives require only to be brought into harmony, and¬†love’s sweetest music¬†will flow from two hearts in tender unison. But there are several rules which must always be remembered and observed.

Why, for instance, should either party, after the wedding-day, cease to observe all the sweet courtesies, little refinements and charming amenities of the courtship-days? Why should a man be¬†polite¬†all day to everyone he meets‚ÄĒeven to the porter in his store, and the bootblack or newsboy on the street‚ÄĒand then less polite to her who meets him at his door with yearning heart hungry for expressions of love? If things have gone wrong with him all day, why should he carry his gloom to his home to darken the joy of his wife’s tender heart? Or why should the woman who used to be all smiles and beauty and adornment and perfume when her lover came, meet her husband now with disheveled hair, soiled dress, slovenly manner and¬†face all frowns? Why should there not be a resolute continuance of the old politeness and mutual desire to please‚ÄĒwhich made the wooing-days so sunny?

Then love must be lifted up out of the realm of the¬†passions¬†and¬†senses‚ÄĒand be spiritualized. There should be converse on the¬†higher themes¬†of life. Many people are¬†wedded¬†only at one or two points. Their natures know but the lower forms of pleasure and fellowship. They never commune on any topic, but the most earthy. Their¬†intellectual¬†parts have no fellowship. They never read nor converse together on elevated themes. There is no commingling of mind with mind; they are dead to each other, in that higher region.¬†

Then still fewer are¬†wedded¬†in their highest, their spiritual natures. The number is small, of those who commune together concerning the things of God, the soul’s holiest interests and the realities of eternity. No marriage is complete‚ÄĒwhich does not unite and blend the wedded lives at every point. Husband and wife should be wedded along their whole nature.

This implies that they should read and study together, having the same line of thought, helping each other toward higher mental culture. It implies also that they should worship together, communing with one another upon the holiest themes of life and hope. Together they should bow in prayer, and together work in anticipation of the same blessed home beyond this life of toil and care. I can conceive of no true and perfect marriage, whose deepest joy does not lie forward in the life to come.

Perfect¬†mutual confidence¬†is an element of every complete marriage. Husband and wife should¬†live but one life, sharing all of each other’s cares, joys, sorrows and hopes. There should not be a corner in the nature and occupation of either‚ÄĒwhich is not open to the other. The moment a man has to begin to shut his wife out from any¬†chapters of his daily life¬†he is in peril; and in like manner her whole life should be open to him. There should be a flowing together of heart and soul in close communion and perfect confidence. No discord can end in harm‚ÄĒwhile there is such mutual inter-sphering of lives and such inter-flowing of souls.

Once more, no third party should ever be taken into this holy of holies. No matter who it is‚ÄĒthe sweetest, gentlest, dearest, wisest mother; the purest, truest, tenderest sister; the best, the loyalest friend‚ÄĒno one but¬†God¬†should ever be permitted to know anything of the secret, sacred married life, that they twain are living. This is one of those relations with which no stranger, though he be the closest bosom friend, should intermeddle. Any¬†alien touch¬†is sure to leave a blight.

There are certain¬†influences¬†that bring out all the warmth and tenderness needed to make any marriage very happy. When one is sick, how gentle and thoughtful it makes the other! Not a want or wish is left unsupplied. All the heart’s affections‚ÄĒlong slumbering, perhaps‚ÄĒare awakened and become intent on most kindly ministry. No service is thought a hardship now, or done with any show of reluctance. There is not a breath or look of impatience. Love flows out in¬†tone¬†and¬†look¬†and¬†word¬†and¬†act. There is an¬†inexpressible tenderness¬†in all the bearing. Even the coldest natures become gentle in the sick-room, and the rudest, harshest manners become soft and warm at the¬†touch of suffering¬†in the beloved one.¬†

Or let death come to either, and what an awakening there is of all that is holiest and tenderest and sweetest in the heart of the other! If the dead could be recalled and the wedded life resumed, would it not be a thousand times more loving than ever it was before? Would there be any more the old¬†impatience, the old¬†selfishness? Would there not be the fullest sympathy, the largest forbearance, the warmest outflow of the heart’s most kindly feelings?

And why may not married life be lived day by day, under the power of this wondrous influence? Why wait for¬†suffering¬†in the one we love‚ÄĒto¬†thaw out the heart’s tenderness, to melt the icy chill of neglect and indifference, and to produce in us the summer fruits of affection? Why wait for¬†death¬†to come‚ÄĒto reveal the beauty of the plain life that moves by our side, and disclose the value of the blessings it enfolds for us? Why should we only learn to appreciate and prize love’s splendors and its sweetness‚ÄĒas it vanishes out of our sight?¬†

Why should the¬†empty chair‚ÄĒbe the first revealer of the real worth of those who have walked so close to us? Why should sorrow over our loss‚ÄĒbe the first influence to draw from our hearts, the tenderness and the wealth of kindly ministries that lie pent up in them all the while? Surely, wedded life should call out all that is richest, truest, tenderest, most inspiring and most helpful in the life of each. This is the¬†true ideal¬†of Christian marriage. Its love is to be like that of Christ and his Church. It should not wait for the¬†agony of suffering¬†or the¬†pang of separation¬†to draw out its tenderness‚ÄĒbut should fill all its days and nights with¬†unvexed sweetness!

There are many such marriages. Few more beautiful pictures of wedded love were ever unveiled, than that which was lived out in the home of Charles Kingsley. His wife closes her loving memoir with these words, “The outside world must judge him as an author, a preacher, a member of society‚ÄĒbut those only who lived with him in the intimacy of every-day life at home‚ÄĒcan tell what he was as a man. Over the real romance of his life, and over the tenderest, loveliest passages in his private letters‚ÄĒa veil must be thrown‚ÄĒbut it will not be lifting it too far to say that if in the highest, closest of earthly relationships, a love that never failed‚ÄĒpure, patient, passionate‚ÄĒfor thirty-six years‚ÄĒa love which never stooped from its own lofty level‚ÄĒto a hasty word, an impatient gesture or a selfish act, in sickness or in health, in sunshine or in storm, by day or by night, could prove that the age of chivalry has not passed away forever‚ÄĒthen Charles Kingsley fulfilled the ideal of a ‘most true and perfect knight’ to the one woman blessed with that love in time, and to eternity. To eternity, for such love is eternal, and he is not dead. He himself, the man, the lover, husband, father, friend‚ÄĒhe still lives in God, who is not the God of the dead‚ÄĒbut of the living.”¬†

And why should, not every marriage in Christ, realize all that lies in this picture? It is possible, and yet only noble manhood and womanhood, with truest views of marriage and inspired by the holiest love, can realize it.

Sarah & i in Love Heart

The religion of JOY

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

The Cross “‚úü” or the cross “‚ĚĆ”

I am saddened‚Ķ..No grieved to see just how many ‚Äúprofessing Christians‚ÄĚ have filled Facebook, Twitter and the rest with endless ramblings on where we need to put the cross ‚Äú‚ĚĆ‚ÄĚ on our ballot papers, Without mention of THE CROSS ‚Äú‚úü‚ÄĚ on which our whole Salvation and Hope is vital!

Have we really elevated politics to a Saviour level?

We are living in a day when the message of the church is changing. Churches, and even whole denominations, are moving away from the old message of salvation through the blood of Jesus, and are moving toward a message of salvation through social activism and good works. The old bloody message of the cross is quickly being replaced by a bloodless message that lacks power and that lacks hope. Instead of hearing the devastating, but life changing news that men are sinners, people hear a message that tells them, “I’m OK and you’re OK!”

When the Apostle Paul went to the great and intellectual Grecian city of Corinth, he said, ‚ÄúI determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified‚ÄĚ (1 Corinthians 2:2). When Paul described what his message was, he said, ‚ÄúWe preach Christ crucified‚ÄĚ (1 Corinthians 1:23).

The Christian looks beyond this dying world to his eternal home in glory. The cross of Jesus enables him to soar on high, and leave the world behind him. He looks forward to the glory that is to be revealed in him. He sets his affections on things above. Oh, keep gazing on a crucified Savior, and the world will lose its charms. “Be of good cheer,” says Christ, “I have overcome the world.” We also shall overcome it, through his cross. It is a sight of the cross of Christ that weans the affections from sublunary objects, and centers them on heavenly and divine things. In this wicked world, the Christian thirsts for God, and pants to reach the mansions of glory.

O that every reader would imbibe the spirit of Paul, and boast only in the cross of Christ! The cross of Christ is the Christian’s boast. In every age this has been his song. Every true believer glories in Christ and him crucified. A ray of heavenly light from the cross beams on his soul, filling it with joy unspeakable and full of glory; enabling him to sing in the ways of the Lord and boast in the rock of his salvation. He sees the moral grandeur of the cross; its attractiveness; its dazzling glory. He is thus led to place all his hopes in the cross of the Man of Calvary, and to glory, before an ungodly world, in that atonement made by the blood of Jesus.

“Far be it from me to boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Galatians 6:14

The Life-Boat Of Free Grace!

The life-boat of free grace!

(James Smith, “The Complaint!” 1864)

“I am cast down!”

And why are you cast down?

“My heart is burdened with a sense of my short-comings! Every duty I perform is so imperfect. Every purpose I form is so soon frustrated. Every hope of seeing better days is so soon beclouded.

My heart is so fearfully depraved.
My life is so unlike the life of Jesus.
My temper is so unholy.
My prayers are so brief and heartless.
My praises are so feeble and fitful.
I do so little good.
I live to so little purpose.
My evidences are so dim.
My prospects are so overcast.
I am harassed sometimes with the fear of death.
I cannot realize the glories of Heaven.
I am dissatisfied with the world ‚ÄĒ and yet glued to it!
I hate sin ‚ÄĒ and yet fall into it!
I am a riddle, a mystery, a mass of inconsistency!
Is it, then, any wonder that I am cast down?”

No, if you look at yourself, and pore over the things you have named ‚ÄĒ then it is no wonder that you are cast down! They are enough to cast anyone down! But if you carry them to the throne of grace, if you there confess them before God, if you look to Jesus to save you from them ‚ÄĒ then, in spite of them ‚ÄĒ you will not long be cast down.

I know it is difficult to do this. There is a natural proneness to pore over such things. One feels at times a secret liking to indulge in gloomy thoughts.

But we must look away from self ‚ÄĒ for if we do not, we shall become anxious, doubting and gloomy! We must run the race, not looking at our imperfections, short-comings, and failures ‚ÄĒ but looking unto Jesus. He knows what we are. He knew what we would be ‚ÄĒ before He called us by His grace; yes, before He shed His blood for us!

He loved us, as sinners.
He died for us, as sinners.
He called us, as sinners.

He saves us, as sinners. He will have all the glory of saving us, and He will get great glory by doing so, because we are such great sinners; and do not, cannot, do anything to repay Him for His wondrous love! Salvation is by free grace ‚ÄĒ from first to last! Believe this, and it will raise up your drooping mind!

The life-boat of free grace has put you on board the vessel of salvation, and that will convey you safely to the port of glory! Do not look at your spiritual destitution, or feebleness, or incapacity, or imperfections ‚ÄĒ but trust in your Pilot, rely on your Captain, and expect His mercy and merit to land you safe in Heaven at last!

As imperfect as you now are, and as imperfect you will be ‚ÄĒ your dying prayer will still be, “God be merciful unto me ‚ÄĒ a sinner!”

Hope in God!
His mercy is great unto the heavens,
His grace is as free as the air,
His love is as changeless as His nature,
His promise is as immutable as His love.

Hope in God, for you shall yet praise Him. He will save you for His own sake, and present you before assembled worlds as a monument of His mercy, and a trophy of His grace!

Jelly-Fish Christianity

Jelly-Fish Christianity 

(J.C. Ryle)

The consequences of this widespread dislike to distinct biblical doctrine are very serious. Whether we like it or not, it is an epidemic which is doing great harm, and especially among young people. It creates, fosters, and keeps up an immense amount of instability in religion. It produces what I must venture to call, if I may coin the phrase, a ‘jelly-fish’ Christianity in the land ‚ÄĒ that is, a Christianity without bone, or muscle, or power.

A jelly-fish, as everyone who has been much by the seaside knows, is a pretty and graceful object when it floats in the sea, contracting and expanding like a little delicate transparent umbrella. Yet the same jelly-fish, when cast on the shore, is a mere helpless lump, without capacity for movement, self-defense, or self-preservation.

Alas! it is a vivid type of much of the religion of this day, of which the leading principle is, ‘No dogma, no distinct beliefs, no doctrine.’ We have hundreds of ministers who seem not to have a single bone in their body of divinity! They have no definite opinions; they are so afraid of ‘extreme views,’ that they have no views at all. We have thousands of sermons preached every year, which are without an edge or a point or a corner ‚ÄĒ they are as smooth as marble balls, awakening no sinner, and edifying no saint!

We have legions of young men annually turned out from our universities, armed with a few scraps of second-hand philosophy, who think it a mark of cleverness and intellect to have no decided opinions about anything in religion ‚ÄĒ and to be utterly unable to make up their minds as to what is Christian truth. Their only creed, is a kind of ‘nothingism.’ They are sure and positive about nothing!

And last, and worst of all, we have myriads of respectable church-going people, who have no distinct and definite views about any point in theology. They cannot discern things that differ, any more than color-blind people can distinguish colors. They think . . .

everybody is right ‚ÄĒ and nobody is wrong,
everything is true ‚ÄĒ and nothing is false,
all sermons are good ‚ÄĒ and none are bad,
every clergyman is sound ‚ÄĒ and no clergyman unsound.

They are ‘tossed to and fro, like children, by every wind of doctrine;’ often carried away by some new excitement and sensational movement; ever ready for new things, because they have no firm grasp on the old; and utterly unable to ‘render a reason of the hope that is in them.’

All this, and much more, is the result of that effeminate dread of distinct doctrine which has been so strongly developed, and has laid such hold on many pastors in these days.

I turn from the picture I have exhibited with a sorrowful heart. I grant it is a gloomy one; but I am afraid it is only too accurate and true. Let us not deceive ourselves. Distinct and definitive doctrine is at a premium just now. Instability and unsettled notions are the natural result, and meet us in every direction.

Cleverness and earnestness are the favorite idols of the age!

What a man says matters nothing ‚ÄĒ however strange and heterogeneous are the opinions he expresses! If he is only brilliant and ‘earnest’ ‚ÄĒ he cannot be wrong! Never was it so important for believers to hold sound systematic views of truth, and for ministers to ‘enunciate doctrine’ very clearly and distinctly in their teaching.

ūüéĄ The Glorious Incarnation #21 ~ Message Of Hope

‚ÄúThus says the Lord: the meaning of Christmas is that what is good and precious in your life need never be lost, and what is evil and undesirable in your life can be changed. The fears that the few good things that make you happy are slipping through your fingers, and the frustrations that the bad things you hate about yourself or your situation can‚Äôt be changed‚ÄĒthese fears and these frustrations are what Christmas came to destroy. It is God‚Äôs message of hope this Advent that what is good need never be lost and what is bad can be changed.‚ÄĚ

John Piper, The Dawning of Indestructible Joy: Daily Readings for Advent

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

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