Tag Archives: Jesus

The delight which God has in His redeemed people!

Grace logo

The delight which God has in His redeemed people! 

“I will rejoice over them to do them good.” Jeremiah 32:41 

“As a bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so your God will rejoice over you!” Isaiah 62:5 

The LORD your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you . . . He will rejoice over you with singing!” Zephaniah 3:17 

How heart-cheering to the believer, is the delight which God has in His redeemed people!

We cannot see any reason in ourselves why the Lord should take pleasure in us. We cannot take delight in ourselves, for we often have to groan, being burdened; conscious of our sinfulness, and deploring our unfaithfulness. 

And we fear that God’s people cannot take much delight in us, for they must perceive so much of our imperfections and our follies, that they may rather lament our infirmities, than admire our graces. 

But we love to dwell upon this transcendent truth, this glorious mystery–that as the bridegroom rejoices over his bride, so does the Lord rejoice over us! 

We do not read anywhere that God delights in the cloud-capped mountains, or the sparkling stars–but we do read that His delights are with the sons of men. 

We do not find it written that even angels give His soul delight; nor does He say, concerning cherubim and seraphim, “You shall be called Hephzibah, for the Lord delights in you”; but He does say all that to poor fallen creatures like ourselves, debased and depraved by sin–but redeemed and saved by His grace. 

In what strong language He expresses His delight in His people! Who could have conceived of the eternal One as bursting forth into a song? Yet it is written, “He will take great delight in you . . . He will rejoice over you with singing!” 

As He looked upon the world He had made, He said, “It is very good”. But when He beheld those who are the purchase of Jesus’ blood, His own chosen ones, it seemed as if the great heart of the Infinite could restrain itself no longer–but overflowed in divine exclamations of joy. 

Should not we utter our grateful response to such a marvelous declaration of His love, and sing, “I will rejoice in the Lord, I will rejoice in the God of my salvation!” 

May we see our sins

Grace logo

May we see our sins

(
Henry Law, “Family Prayers”)

O God the Holy Spirit, have mercy upon us miserable sinners. Move, we beseech You, in our disordered hearts. Remove the deformities of unruly desires and hateful lusts. Chase away the mists and darkness of unbelief. Brighten our inner man with the pure light of truth. Sow abundantly the seeds of righteousness. Make our souls fragrant as the garden of the Lord. Enrich them with every godly fruit. Beautify them with heavenly grace. Be our comforter, our guide, our light, our sanctification. 

Especially take of the things of Christ, and show them with enlarged power to our longing souls. May we daily learn more of His love, His grace, His tender compassion, His faithfulness, and His beauty. May we delight ourselves in Him with increased delight. Lead us to the cross, and show us in His wounds–the hateful character of sin. May we see our sins, as . . . 
  the nails which transfixed Him,
  the cords which bound Him,
  the sword which pierced Him,
  the thorns which tore Him,
  the taunts which stung Him. 

Help us to read in His cruel death, the reality and immensity of His love. 

Open to us the wondrous volumes of glorious truth in the cry, “It is finished!” 
Our atonement is forever achieved, 
our debt is fully paid, 
all our guilt is washed away,
all our sins most righteously forgiven,
our souls saved,
Hell vanquished,
the devil crushed,
Heaven won, and 
eternity of glory our rightful home!

Holy Spirit, deepen in us these saving lessons. 
Write them with Your finger on the tablets of our hearts. 

May our walk be . . .
  sin-loathing,
  sin-fleeing,
  Christ-loving,
  God-fearing!

Believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil

Grace logo

Believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil

(Charles Spurgeon)

“We know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose!” Romans 8:28 

The Christian does not merely hold this truth as a theory, but he knows it as a matter of fact. Everything has worked for good as yet. 

The poisonous drugs mixed in fit proportions, have worked the cure. 

The sharp cuts of the lancet, have cleansed out the infected flesh and facilitated the healing. 

In every event of your life, God has always worked out the most divinely blessed results.

Believing that God rules all, that He governs wisely, that He brings good out of evil–the believer’s heart is comforted, and he is enabled calmly to meet each trial as it comes. The believer can in the spirit of true resignation pray, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not mine! Send me what You will, my Father, so long as it comes from You!”

The crying evil of both the Church and of the world!

Grace logo

The crying evil of both the Church and of the world! 

(Thomas Reade, “The Desire of More”) 

“Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.” Colossians 3:5 

“You can be sure that no immoral, impure, or covetous person will inherit the Kingdom of Christ and of God. For a covetous person is really an idolater who worships the things of this world.” Ephesians 5:5 

The love of money
 under every form, insinuates itself into every heart. 

A day is fast approaching when it will be clearly seen whether Christ or Mammon has swayed our affections. 

Covetousness
, in the language of Scripture, is the desire of having more. If we are habitually desirous of riches, for their own sake, we are, in the estimation of God, covetous people, idolaters, the servants of mammon. Our station may be exalted; our profession of religion may be outwardly strict, but still our destruction is sure. 

There are, perhaps, few sins which assume so plausible an appearance; and for which so many excuses are made as for that ofcovetousness. And hence it is that we have need to guard so much the citadel of the heart. 

Covetousness
, eating like a canker, upon the vitals of our religion–is the crying evil of both the Church and of the world! 

What advantage did Lot’s wife, Achan, Gehazi, Judas, and Ananias and Sapphira, gain by their desire for more? They reaped shame and death; and now stand as beacons in the Word of God to warn us against their soul-destroying sin! 

For what does it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his soul?” Luke 9:25 

As foolish as to hope to bind an angel with a string, or to lure a star with music!

Grace logo

As foolish as to hope to bind an angel with a string, or to lure a star with music! 

(Charles Spurgeon)

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes!” Romans 1:16 

To try to win a soul to Christ by keeping that soul in ignorance of any truth, is contrary to the mind of the Spirit. To endeavor to save men by mere claptrap, or entertainments, or excitements, or oratorical displays–is as foolish as to hope to bind an angel with a string, or to lure a star with music! 

The best attraction is the gospel in its purity. The weapon with which the Lord conquers men, is the truth as it is in Jesus. The gospel will be found equal to every emergency. The gospel is an arrow which can pierce the hardest heart–a balm which will heal the deadliest wound. Preach it, and preach nothing else. Rely implicitly upon the old, old gospel. 

You need no other nets when you fish for men; those your Master has given you are strong enough for the large fish, and have meshes fine enough to hold the little ones. 

Spread those nets and no others, and you need not fear the fulfillment of His Word, “I will make you fishers of men.”

The diamonds of Heaven!

Grace logo

The diamonds of Heaven!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“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

“Behold, he is praying!” Acts 9:11 

Prayers are instantly noticed in heaven. The moment Saul began to pray, the Lord heard him. Here is comfort for the distressed but praying soul. Oftentimes a poor broken-hearted one bends his knee, but can only utter his wailing in the language of sighs and tears; yet that groan has made all the harps of heaven thrill with music; that tear has been caught by God and treasured in the lachrymatory of Heaven. You have collected all my tears in Your bottle.” This implies that they are caught as they flow! 

The suppliant, who groans out his words, will be well understood by the Most High God. He may only look up with misty eye; but prayer is the falling of a tear! Tears are the diamonds of Heaven! Sighs are a part of the music of Jehovah’s court, and are numbered with the most sublime strains which reach the majesty on high!

Do not think that your prayers, however weak or trembling, will be unregarded. Our God not only hears prayers, but also loves to hear them. “He does not forget the cry of the humble.” 

True, He does not regard proud looks and lofty words. 
He no concern for the pomp and pageantry of kings. 
He does not listen not to the swell of martial music. 
He does not regard the triumph and pride of man. 

But wherever there is a contrite heart full with sorrow, or a lip quivering with agony, or a deep groan, or a penitential sigh葉he heart of Jehovah is open! He marks that prayer down in the registry of His memory! He puts our prayers, like rose leaves傭etween the pages of His book of remembrance, and when the volume is opened at last there shall be a precious fragrance springing up therefrom!

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

Grace logo

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!

Praise The Lord!

Psalms Logo

Psalm 150:6 (ESV) 

6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!

Tiger

Job 12:7-10 (ESV) 

“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you; or the bushes of the earth, and they will teach you; and the fish of the sea will declare to you. Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this? In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.

 Description…

This is another photo taken on our day trip to Chessington world of adventures a few years ago. The crazy thing is…I had no idea that this Tiger(or any of the creatures in my recent posts) were looking at me until i returned home and zoomed in on the photos whilst viewing them on my iMac, lol! 😀 

I hope this beautiful Tiger puts another smile on your face,? 😀 

 

🎶 Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small.
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all. 🎶

All the ‘littles’ of our little world!

Grace logo

All the ‘littles’ of our little world!

(Charles Spurgeon

Divine omniscience affords no comfort to the ungodly mind, “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 

But to the child of God it overflows with consolation, “How precious also are Your thoughts unto me, O God.” Psalm 139:17

God is always thinking upon us; He never turns aside His mind from us, and has us always before His eyes! This is precisely as we would have it–for it would be dreadful to exist for a moment, beyond the observation of our heavenly Father! His thoughts are always filial, tender, loving, wise–and they bring to us countless benefits. Hence it is a choice delight for us to remember them.

The Lord has always thought upon His people–hence their election and the covenant of grace by which their salvation is secured. 

He always will think upon them–hence their continual preservation by which they shall be brought safely to their heavenly rest. 

In all our wanderings, the watchful glance of the Eternal Watcher is evermore fixed upon us! We never roam beyond the Shepherd’s eye! In our sorrows He observes us incessantly, and not a pang escapes Him! In our toils He marks all our weariness, and writes in His book all the struggles of His faithful ones. These thoughts of the Lord encompass us in all our paths, and penetrate the innermost region of our being. Not a nerve or tissue, valve or vessel, of our bodily organization is uncared for. All the ‘littles’ of our little world, are thought upon by the great God!

Dear reader, is not this precious to you? The Lord lives and thinks upon you! 

If the Lord thinks upon you, then all is well, and you may rejoice evermore!

“I’ve 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 ‘Faith through Adversity’, Nik said “i can ask you some straight forward questions, it will only take about 5 minutes(or so we thought)” “Yeah, ok, if you think it will help?”.

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’m blind, i can’t use any notes, so i spent a little time trying to etch some answer headings into my mind, hoping i’d not veer too far off track. I then prayed that i’d use this time to Glorify Him, as i talked about the Truth that sets us free, and how i’m not ashamed of the Gospel, it’s 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 – July 2000) that burst my optic nerve, i’m now registered blind and have Severe Hypertensive Retinopathy.

“How did that change your life?”

I said “I 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…”

“I went to the gym 6-7 days a week, played football most evenings and was quite violent, acting the tough guy.  I wasn’t a Christian, i hadn’t been born again, or even been inside a church building…so…As i stepped out of the eye consultants office after being told i’d 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….And this was the easy bit”.

“Following 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 “Nobody wants you, you’re useless now, unwanted, rejected, unloved and unlovable!!”

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’d been  praying for so long for God to “Break my heart for what broke His” 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’t have the strength to kill myself, and i didn’t have the strength to live…i was without God, and without Hope!

Nik, who’s 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 “I wouldn’t agree with anyone who thinks(or measures) life by how good our circumstances are. I’d 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”

“I used to hate this song, but now i’d play it every service if i could…have you heard Amazing Grace, the Chris Tomlin version? If you pass me in the street you’ll 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”.

“I’ve never seen so clearly since going blind” This is one of my fave sayings. 😀 

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’t react for a while, then she said “People kept on running up and passing me tissues”. Nik sat down next to Sarah, and Sarah said “You’re not borrowing him again to speak”. 

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 “He 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.”

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 

Thank You Jesus!!

Thank you Jesus…..For entering your own creation to seek and to save the lost. Your praise will always be on my lips as i eagerly await your return! 😊

The Christian Message

“The Christian message is not an inclusive message that embraces all religions; it’s not a message that there are many paths to the same place. The Christian message is summed up in the brave words of Peter before the Sanhedrin: “Jesus is ‘the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.’ Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:11–12).”

Michael Youssef, Jesus, Jihad and Peace: What Bible Prophecy Says About World Events Today

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #25 ~ Christ’s Pursuit

“Christianity does not begin with our pursuit of Christ, but with Christ’s pursuit of us. Christianity does not start with an invitation we offer to Jesus, but with an invitation Jesus offers to us.”

David Platt, Follow Me: A Call to Die. A Call to Live.

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #19 ~ The Advent Virus

The Advent Virus

Anonymous via email

WARNING……WARNING: ADVENT VIRUS

Be on the alert for symptoms of inner Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. The hearts of a great many have already been exposed to this virus and it is possible that people everywhere could come down with it in epidemic proportions. This could pose a serious threat to what has, up to now, been a fairly stable condition of conflict in the world.

Some signs and symptoms of The Advent Virus:

  1. A tendency to think and act spontaneously rather than on fears based on past experiences.
  2. An unmistakable ability to enjoy each moment.
  3. A loss of interest in judging other people.
  4. A loss of interest in interpreting the actions of others.
  5. A loss of interest in conflict.
  6. A loss of the ability to worry. (This is a very serious symptom.)
  7. Frequent, overwhelming episodes of appreciation.
  8. Contented feelings of connectedness with others and nature.
  9. Frequent attacks of smiling.
  10. An increasing tendency to let things happen rather than make them happen.
  11. An increased susceptibility to the love extended by others as well as the uncontrollable urge to extend it.

Please send this warning out to all your friends. This virus can and has affected many systems. Some systems have been completely cleaned out because of it.

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #18 ~ Humility

“He [Jesus] was born in a barn to show what God thinks of human pride, of human ambition, of human loftiness, of human hardness…of those who turn to religion only because of what they think it can do for them…of those who always insist on having a place at the high table and are miserable when others are put before them…of those personal jealousies and those family feuds that mar the fellowship with God.”

[Handel H. Brown]

🎄 The Glorious Incarnation #2 ~ Alpha & Omega

This baffles all our comprehension!

“So the Word became human and lived here on earth among us.” John 1:14

What a transition!

What a stoop for that Infinite Being who proclaimed Himself the Alpha and the Omega; for “The Ancient of days” to assume the nature and take the form of a cradled infant, sleeping on a virgin mother’s breast!

We have no plumb line to sound the depths of that humiliation. We have no arithmetic by which it can be submitted to any process of calculation.

If we can entertain for a moment the shocking supposition of the loftiest created spirit in heaven abjuring his angel nature, and becoming an insect or a worm; we can, in some feeble degree, estimate the descent involved in the transformation.

But, for the Illimitable, Everlasting Jehovah, Himself to become incarnate . . .

the Creator, to take the nature of the created; the Infinite, to be joined with the finite; Deity, to be linked with dust; this baffles all our comprehension!

(John MacDuff, “Clefts of the Rock” 1874)

God’s Workmanship!

Steel Quote Logo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Our God has . . . .

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

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

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

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

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

(Frank Hall)

Pride & Humility

Steel Quote Logo

A vile, creeping, serpentine thing…

From Spurgeon’s sermon, “Pride and Humility”

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

There is no trap into which we poor silly birds so easily fly.

There is no pitfall into which, like foolish beasts of the earth,
we so continually run, as the sin of pride!

Pride is the worst monstrosity of all the monstrous things
in creation; it has nothing lovely in it.

Pride, the first-born son of hell, is indeed like its parent-
all unclean and vile, and in it there is no beauty.

Consider your origin; look back to the hole of the pit where
you were digged. Consider what you would have been, even
now, if it were not for Divine grace.

Consider that among the damned, there are none that would
have been more damned than yourself, if grace had not kept you
from destruction. Let this consideration humble you,
that you have nothing whereon to ground your pride.

Oh! man, hate pride, flee from it, abhor it,
do not let it dwell with you!

If you want to have a madman in your heart, embrace
pride, for you shall never find one more mad than he.

Pride has ten thousand shapes; it is not always that
stiff and starched gentleman that you picture it.

Pride is a vile, creeping, insinuating thing,
that will twist itself like a serpent into our hearts.

It will talk of humility, and prate about being dust and ashes.
I have known men talk about their corruption most marvelously,
pretending to be all humility, while at the same time they were the
proudest wretches that could be found this side the gulf of
separation.

Oh! my friends, you cannot tell how many shapes pride will
assume; look sharply at yourself, or you will be deceived by it,
and when you think you are entertaining angels, you will find you
have been receiving devils unawares.

 

Everyone Was Happy

Please click the metal quote logo so view many more quotes on iChristian

“It was strictly forbidden to preach to other prisoners. It was understood that whoever was caught doing this received a severe beating. A number of us decided to pay the price for the privilege of preaching, so we accepted their [the communists’ ] terms. It was a deal; we preached and they beat us. We were happy preaching. They were happy beating us, so everyone was happy.”

Richard Wurmbrand, Tortured for Christ

Feeding Sheep, or Amusing Goats?

Please click the metal quote logo so view many more quotes on iChristian

Feeding Sheep, or Amusing Goats?

An evil is in the ‘professed’ camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted Christian can hardly fail to notice it. During the past few years this evil has developed at an alarming rate. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments!

The devil has seldom done a more clever thing, than hinting to the Church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. From speaking out the gospel, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses!

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the Church. If it is a Christian work why did not Christ speak of it? ‘Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, and provide amusement for those who do not relish the gospel’.

No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to Him. Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people, or because they confronted them? The ‘concert’ has no martyr roll.

Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all His apostles. What was the attitude of the apostolic Church to the world? “You are the salt of the world”, not the sugar candy; something the world will spit out, not swallow.

Had Jesus introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into His teaching, He would have been more popular. When “many of His disciples turned back and no longer followed Him,” I do not hear Him say, ‘Run after these people, Peter, and tell them we will have a different style of service tomorrow; something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it! Be quick, Peter, we must get the people somehow!’

No! Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them!

In vain will the epistles be searched to find any trace of the ‘gospel of amusement’. Their message is, “Therefore, come out from them and separate yourselves from them… Don’t touch their filthy things…” Anything approaching amusement is conspicuous by its absence. They had boundless confidence in the gospel and employed no other weapon.

After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the Church had a prayer meeting, but they did not pray, ‘Lord, grant unto your servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are’.

No! They did not cease from preaching Christ. They had no time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution they went everywhere preaching the gospel. They turned the world upside down; that is the only difference from today’s church.

Lastly, amusement fails to effect the end desired. Let the heavy laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment had been God’s link in the chain of their conversion, stand up! There are none to answer! The mission of amusement produces no converts!

The need of the hour for today’s ministry is earnest spirituality joined with Biblical doctrine, so understood and felt, that it sets men on fire.

Archibald Brown, “The Devil’s Mission of Amusement” 1889

Being Alive & Being Dead!

Please click the metal quote logo so view many more quotes on iChristian

“Too many Christians are content with appearing to be a bit more moral than the people around them. But the difference between a true Christian and a non-Christian is not about subtle moral distinctions—it’s the difference between being alive and being dead!”

Francis Chan, You and Me Forever: Marriage in Light of Eternity

The Popular Christ

Please click the metal quote logo so view many more quotes on iChristian

“Unfortunately, the ten-cent-store Jesus being preached now by many men is not the Jesus that will come to judge the world. This plastic, painted Christ who has no spine and no justice, but is a soft and pliant friend to everybody, if He is the only Christ, then we might as well close our books, bar our doors and make a bakery or garage out of our church buildings. The popular Christ being preached now is not the Christ of God nor the Christ of the Bible nor the Christ we must deal with finally. For the Christ that we deal with has eyes as a flame of fire. And His feet are like burnished brass; and out of His mouth cometh a sharp two-edged sword (see Rev. 1:14-16). He will be the judge of humanity. You can leave your loved ones in His hands knowing that He Himself suffered, knowing that He knows all, no mistakes can be made, there can be no miscarriage of justice, because He knows all that can be known… Jesus Christ our Lord, the judge with the flaming eyes, is the one with whom we must deal. We cannot escape it.”

A.W. Tozer, And He Dwelt Among Us: Teachings from the Gospel of John

✞ Reggae “How Great Is Our God” by Sherwin Gardner

The splendor of a king
Clothed in majesty
Let all the earth rejoice
All the earth rejoice

He wraps Himself in light,
And darkness tries to hide
And trembles at His voice
Trembles at His voice

How great is our God – sing with me
How great is our God – and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Age to age He stands
And time is in His hands
Beginning and the end
Beginning and the end

The Godhead Three in One
Father, Spirit and Son
Lion and the Lamb
Lion and the Lamb

How great is our God – sing with me
How great is our God – and all will see
How great, how great is our God

Name above all names
Worthy of all praise
My heart will sing
How great is our God

Name above all names
You’re worthy of all praise
And my heart will sing
How great is our God

How great is our God – sing with me
How great is our God – and all will see
How great, how great is our God!

The Holiness Of God & The Love Of God

Please click the metal quote logo so view many more quotes on iChristian

“To be really Bible-believing Christians we need to practice, simultaneously, at each step of the way, two biblical principles.

One principle is that of the purity of the visible church. Scripture commands that we must do more than just talk about the purity of the visible church; we must actually practice it, even when it is costly.

The second principle is that of an observable love among all true Christians. In the flesh we can stress purity without love, or we can stess love without purity; we cannot stress both simultaneously. To do so we must look moment by moment to the work of Christ and to the Holy Spirit. Without that, a stress on purity becomes hard, proud, and legalistic; likewise without it a stress on love becomes sheer compromise.

Spiritually begins to have real meaning in our lives as we begin to exhibit simultaneously the holiness of God and the love of God. We never do this perfectly, but we must look to the living Christ to help us do it truly.”

Francis A. Schaeffer, The Great Evangelical Disaster

You Are My King (Amazing Love) by Christy Nockels

You Are My King

I’m forgiven because you were forsaken.
I’m accepted, You were condemned.
I’m alive and well, your spirit is within me. Because you died and rose again.

I’m forgiven because you were forsaken.
I’m accepted, you were condemned.
I’m alive and well, your spirit is within me. Because you died and rose again

Amazing love, how can it be?
That you, my king. would die for me
Amazing love, I know it’s true
Its my joy to honor you
Amazing love how can it be?
That my king would die for me
Amazing love I know it’s true
Its my joy to honor you
In all I do
I honor you

Healings & Peelings

Please click the metal Bible Verse logo to view many more Bible verses on iChristian

Matthew 12:34 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.

Shortly after lunchtime today, i strolled up our drive to bring in our recycling bins, tub & bag after the weekly emptying. Sarah & i had just finished a lovely lunch where we had my special “Scwipps”. It’s just swede cut really chunky and long like chips! 🙂 It was now time to put out the peelings into the really smelly food waste recycling bin. This bin has a flip up lid which to me looks like a big mouth, but leave it open at your peril. As i knelt down to open the lid for Sarah to quickly put the peelings in, a thought came straight to mind…

“Our mouths can be like this bin sometimes, as soon as it opens a horrendous smell comes out as our words start to stink up the place, instead of being fragranced with grace, and healing to others. They are rotten and foul”. 

A couple of verses were highlighted in my mind too…

Ephesians 4:29 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.

Colossians 4:6 New International Version – UK (NIVUK)

Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

As i told Sarah that i may have an idea for a post, she said “We can’t even put out some peelings without you going off on one! Lol!”.

It can be such a struggle sometimes to be quick to listen and slow to speak, but our words have power! The power to lift up, or to pull down. It’s the difference between a sweet smelling fragrance that blesses and heals the listener. Or the stench of death that drags everyone down and leaves them worse off for being around you.

So which one are you??

🙏 Prayer 

Loving Father. Unless my heart is clean, my words can’t be clean.Cleanse my heart with the purity of your Holy Spirit so my words can become acceptable to you, I stumble in many ways, Lord, especially with my words. Forgive me for any corrupt word that has proceeded out of my mouth and has grieved the Holy Spirit, Amen.

✞ Music “Come As You Are” by Crowder

Come As You Are

Come out of sadness
From wherever you’ve been
Come broken hearted
Let rescue begin
Come find your mercy
Oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

(Chorus) So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless
And all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table
Come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary
Rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t cure

So lay down your burdens
Lay down your shame
All who are broken
Lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home
You’re not too far
So lay down your hurt
Lay down your heart
Come as you are
Come as you are
Fall in his arms
Come as you are
There’s joy for the morning
Oh sinner be still
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow
That heaven can’t heal

A Still Small Voice

A screenshot of logic pro of an audio track being boosted using the Automation Tool

Today i’m editing audio interviews Sarah has recorded for the latest CD version of RNIB’s Outlook magazine. As i was using the automation tool (see above) to boost a part of Sarah’s voice, i instantly thought of the still small voice of God speaking to Elijah. 

1 Kings 19:12 Authorized (King James) Version (AKJV)

12 and after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 

I started thinking that its so easy for us to try and amplify the “still small voice” to align it with our noisy and busy lives, to try and keep doing everything we want to do and God will bless it anyway. We become so arrogant in our will, that we think we can manipulate God into fitting in (and agreeing) with our purpose driven lives, after all we are doing it for Him aren’t we?!

Are you bombarding God with foolish rantings, or are you ready to slow down and listen to His still small voice?

🎄 Hymn “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus” by Charles Wesley

In between the Godless secular songs like “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” and “Up on a Housetop,” you may hear the strains of an old hymn by Charles Wesley called “Come Thou Long-Expected Jesus.” It was written in 1744:

Come, Thou long-expected Jesus, born to set Thy people free;
from our fears and sins release us; let us find our rest in Thee.

Israel’s strength and consolation, hope of all the earth Thou art;
dear desire of every nation, joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver, born a child, and yet a King,
born to reign in us forever, now Thy gracious kingdom bring.

By Thine own eternal Spirit rule in all our hearts alone;
by Thine own sufficient merit, raise us to Thy glorious throne.

🎄 Christmas Prayer

Christmas Logo saying Jesus, the reason for the season

Heavenly Father, We think we are ready for Christmas …Not because we have read the pages of the Bible, but because we have read our credit card statements, And they say that we have left no stone unturned, and no gift unbought, if still unpaid for. We stand ready to stagger under the weight of Christmas, To eat and drink far too much, To party with the best of them, And to worry all the time that we’ve forgotten something. And we’ll do it all, not always because we want to, but because everyone else is doing it, and we’ll go along for the ride.

Somewhere in all of this, Father, please feel free to stop us. Any place, any time, just stop us in our tracks. Stop us, grab our attention, and then place your gift in our hands where we can see it, And in our hearts where we can feel it. The gift of knowing that, a little over two thousand years ago, you stepped into the history of this world and placed yourself in a manger in a dirty backstreet stable, And called yourself a Christ-Child. It was then that we could see you and understand you as we had never been able to do before: As Creator, as Spirit, and as a man who would walk unerringly towards a Cross.

Everything else, all the food, the fun, the partying, none of it matters, and none of it has any point at all, unless we grasp this simple, beautiful gift and press it close to our hearts and keep it there…..….. that we live with you, that we are one with you, Our Lord Immanuel.

What else is there to say?

Except thank you, Amen.

One Alone…

Please click the metal quote logo so view many more quotes on iChristian

Life passes, riches fly away, popularity is fickle, the senses decay, the world changes.  One alone is true to us; One alone can be all things to us; One alone can supply our need.

John Henry Newman

The Simple Way

A couple of weeks ago, Paul (one of our preachers) asked if i’d like to share a song that’s on my heart before his sermon (which was yesterday). It’s not a full band song, but one where i accompany a single singer, a prayerful and reflective song. My first thoughts were “Oh yeah i’d love to go up to the front and terrify myself while i share some words and try to play a song”. So i said “Yes i’d love too”. He said “Great, the theme is unity”. 

As i went away i said “Wow, thank you Lord” as for nearly 2 months now i’ve been doing a personal daily expositional bible study on Ephesians 4 & 5, which is all about unity. Verses suddenly flooded my mind about unity in the Spirit through the bond of peace, unity in the faith, unity in the body and on and on they came. I started getting excited and thought instead of sharing a song, i’d share all of the things i’d been learning for about 6 hours instead! lol. 🙂

Then the more sobering verses and thoughts came along…

“If we are not growing in the knowledge and understanding of Christ, if Jesus isn’t the head, and if He is not leading the way, then unity is impossible!” Jesus who is The Way, The Truth and The Life, simply said “FOLLOW ME!”. 

✞ Song “The Simple Way” by Sara Sargent

I then went to ask my loving sister in Christ Sara if she would bless us with her beautiful voice while i accompany her on acoustic guitar, and to maybe show me some of the songs she had written but kept quiet. So last week Sara came and showed me “The Simple Way”, wow! 🙂

This is a short section of the song which i recorded on my iPhone as i was learning the guitar chords. The quality isn’t brilliant, but i hope you too are blessed by Sara’s beautiful voice. 

After the service people were saying that we should record it. I’d love to go to the local recording studio and record this song (and maybe a few others) What do you think?

It Was In Paradise

Please click the metal quote logo so view many more quotes on iChristian

“The terrible, tragic fallacy of the last hundred years has been to think that all man’s troubles are due to his environment, and that to change the man you have nothing to do but change his environment. That is a tragic fallacy. It overlooks the fact that it was in Paradise that man fell.”

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Studies in the Sermon on the Mount

Christian Living

Please click the metal quote logo so view many more quotes on iChristian

“There is nothing which I know of which is more unscriptural, and which is more dangerous to the soul, than to divide doctrine from life… The reason for this is that if your life and your mode of living is not the outcome of your doctrine, it is not Christian living; it is something else.”

D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones, Romans – The Gospel Of God

A Personal Journey

Child of Light

Hi all!! Sorry if it’s felt like i’ve deserted you. I’ve been on a partial fast (The Daniel Fast) for the whole of October, so i havn’t been on my blog much at all. God has taught me more in this last month than the last 10 years of my new life as a Christian. 

I’ve been studying Ephesians 4 & 5 verse by verse and through many tears the spirit has shown me how i’ve been grieving him, and what i need to correct as i’m a child of light. So walk as a child of light! 🙂

I’m away this weekend for Sarah’s Dad’s 70th birthday, but i’ll be back as usual on Monday!

I’ve really missed you guys! x 🙂

Unity And Maturity In The Body Of Christ

Please click the metal Bible Verse logo to view many more Bible verses on iChristian

Ephesians 4:1-6 New International Version

Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ

As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

Following Jesus

Please click the metal quote logo so view many more quotes on iChristian

“In teaching people what it means to be a Christian, we spend much of our time and effort bringing them to a point of belief without clearly calling them to follow. We have taken “believe” and we have written that in capital letters with bold print: BELIEVE. But everything that has to do with following has been put in small print: follow.”

Jesus doesn’t hold back with Nicodemus.

Following Jesus would require a commitment that would cost Nicodemus a great deal….In fact, it’s true throughout all of Scripture….Following Jesus isn’t something you can do at night where no one notices. It’s a twenty-four-hour-a-day commitment that will interfere with your life. That’s not the small-print–that’s a guarantee.”

Kyle Idleman, Not a Fan: Becoming a Completely Committed Follower of Jesus

In Full View!

Click logo for more Proverbs

Proverbs 5:21 (NIVUK)

For your ways are in full view of the Lord,
and he examines all your paths.

This Proverb instantly reminded me of how alert Bruce used to be. If you tried to sneak anywhere (no matter how quiet you think you’re being) he’s stood watching you! 😀

Bruce Sneaky

⇧ Bruce catching me thinking i’m sneaking up the stairs while he’s asleep! 

Pioneer Library

Christian. Creative. Missional. Devotional.

EVERYDAY ENCOUNTERS

Finding the Miracle in the everyday moment

Moments With God

A walk of faith, one step at a time

Katherine Speaks

Single, Sixties.......who needs Sexy!

Tricia's Journal Jots Blog

Thoughts about God from my journal.

God's Not Through With Me Yet

Healing from Child Abuse with God's Help

Inspirations By Katheryn

Daily scripure thoughts, Books I have written (biblical fiction, non-fiction, storybooks), books for blind

Simply Digging Deeper

Keeping Gods word simple in real life

Seek the Truth Bible Media

Telling the world about salvation through repentance towards God and faith in our Lord Jesus Christ

OUT OF SIGHT

What do you get if you cross a diabetic, sight loss and a baby ... MY LIFE!

%d bloggers like this: