Tag Archives: Preacher Quotes

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

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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!

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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.”

All the ‘littles’ of our little world!

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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 

We are tossed upon an ocean of troubles, fears and temptations!

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We are tossed upon an ocean of troubles, fears and temptations!

(John Flavel)

“Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows.” John 16:33 

The way to Heaven lies through much tribulation. All our troubles are not over when we are saved by Christ; nay, then commonly our greatest sorrows begin! Nor are we to expect freedom from our troubles, until harbored in Heaven.

This winter weather shall be useful to destroy those noxious weeds, which the summer of prosperity bred. By wintry trials, God will mortify and purge our corruptions!

At present we are tossed upon an ocean of troubles, fears and temptations–but these will make Heaven all the sweeter. Cheer up, then, O my soul, your salvation is now nearer than when you first believed! Yet a few more days, and then comes that blessed day you have so long waited and panted for!

God will shortly put a blessed end to all of your soul troubles, cares and watchings. The time is coming, when your heart shall be as you would have it, when you shall be discharged of all these cares, fears and sorrows, and never more cry out: “O my hard, my proud, my vain, my earthly heart!”

The time is coming, when all vanity shall be purged perfectly out of your thoughts–and they will be everlastingly, ravishingly, and delightfully entertained and exercised upon that supreme goodness and infinite excellency of God!
 
“Then the King will say to those on His right: Come, you who are blessed by My Father; take your inheritance, the Kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world!” Matthew 25:34

The one indispensable book!

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The one indispensable book!

(Daniel March, 1870)

The Bible is the oldest–and the newest of books.

The Bible surveys the whole field of time–and it looks farthest into the infinite depths of eternity

The Bible lends the most vivid and absorbing interest to the scenes and events of the past–and it keeps us in the most active sympathy with the time in which we live. 

The Bible gives us the most reliable record of what has been–and it affords us our only means of knowing what is yet to be. 

The Bible is holy enough to denounce the very shadow and semblance of sin–and it is merciful enough to save the chief of sinners. 

The Bible is full of God–and must therefore be read with a pure heart, or its true glory will not be seen. 
The Bible is full of man–and must therefore always be interesting and instructive to all who would know themselves.

The Bible is the plainest of books–and yet it has depths of wisdom which no created mind can fathom. 

The Bible is set up as a beacon to show all wanderers the safe way–and yet its light shines forth from thick clouds of mystery, and from abysses of infinite darkness. 

The Bible describes all conditions of life–and it gives utterance to all desires and emotions of the soul. 

The Bible has a song of triumph for the overcomer–and a wail of defeat for the overcome

The Bible . . .
  sparkles with the fervor and gladness of youth,
  celebrates the strength and glory of manhood,
  bewails the sorrows and infirmities of old age

The Bible . . .
  exults in the mighty deeds of kings and conquerors, 
  sympathizes with the poor and lowly, 
  lifts up the fallen, 
  delivers the oppressed, and 
  breathes the blessing of peace upon the quiet homes of domestic life. 

The Bible describes with startling clearness . . .
  the seductions of temptation,
  the conflicts of doubt and
  the miseries of skepticism

The Bible . . .
  searches the secret chambers of the heart
  brings to light its purest love and its darkest hate, 
  reveals its highest joy and its deepest grief. 

The Bible compasses the utmost range of thought and feeling and desire–and it sounds the utmost depth of motive and characterand passion.

Thus in the Bible, 
  God and man,
  earth and heaven,
  time and eternity–
speak with one voice and teach the same truth. 

The Bible sets forth the most spiritual and heavenly truths–in the lights and shadows of earthly scenes and human characters. 

Thus the Bible is the one indispensable book . . .
  for all ages–and all nations,
  for all classes of men–and all states of society,
  for all capacities of intellect–and all necessities of the soul!

The Complaint!

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The Complaint!

(James Smith, 1864)

“O my God, my soul is cast down within me!” Psalm 42:6 

And why are you cast down? 

“My heart is burdened with a sense of my short-comings. 
 Every holy duty I perform is so imperfect. 
 Every good 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 affections are 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 grasp the glories of Heaven
 I am dissatisfied with the world–and yet glued to it! 
 I hate sin–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–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 the mercy of Jesus–then, in spite of them, 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 self-pity. 

But we must look away from self–for if we do not, we shall become anxious, doubting and downcast! We must run the race–not looking at our imperfections, short-comings, and failures–but looking unto Jesus. He knows what we are. He knew what we wouldbe–before He called us by His grace; yes, before He shed His sin-atoning 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 great glory by saving such great sinners. We cannot do anything to repay Him for His wondrous love. Salvation is by free grace–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–but trust in your Pilot, rely on your Captain, and expect His mercy and merit to land you safely in Heaven at last! 

Regardless of any amount of spiritual progress, your dying prayer will still be, “God be merciful unto me–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. 

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!

“Why are you cast down, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me?
 
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and  my God!” Psalm 42:5

And thus the churches were filled with unregenerate members!

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And thus the churches were filled with unregenerate members!

(Arthur Pink1886-1952)

Many of the pulpiteers of the past fifty years acted as though the first and last object of their calling was the salvation of souls, everything being made to bend to that aim. In consequence, the feeding of the sheep, the maintaining of Scriptural discipline in the church, and the inculcation of practical piety, was crowded out; and only too often all sorts of worldly devices and fleshly methods were employed under the plea that the end justified the means; and thus the churches were filled with unregenerate members! 

In reality, such men defeated their own aim. The hard heart must be ploughed and harrowed before it can be receptive to the gospel seed. Doctrinal instruction must be given on the character of God, the requirements of His Law, the nature and heinousness of sin–if a foundation is to be laid for true evangelism. It is useless to preach Christ unto souls, until they see and feel their desperate need of Him!

A sermon that will make the devils in Hell laugh, and the angels of God weep!

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A sermon that will make the devils in Hell laugh, and the angels of God weep!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2 

The best sermons are the sermons which are most full of Christ. 
A sermon without Christ it is a horrible thing! It is . . .
  an empty well; 
  a cloud without rain; 
  a tree twice dead, plucked by the roots. 

It is abominable to give men stones for bread, and scorpions for eggs–and yet they do so who preach not Jesus. 

A sermon without Christ! As well talk of a loaf of bread without any flour in it. How can it feed the soul? Men die and perish because Christ is not there, and yet His glorious gospel is the easiest thing to preach, and the sweetest thing to preach–there is most variety in it, there is more attractiveness in it than in all the world besides!

The sermon which does not lead to Christ, or of which Jesus Christ is not the top and the bottom–is a sort of sermon that will make the devils in Hell laugh, and the angels of God weep!

The mark of true Gospel preaching is where Christ is everything, and the creature is nothing; where salvation is all of grace, through the work of the Holy Spirit applying to the soul the precious blood of Jesus.

“We preach Christ crucified!” 1 Corinthians 1:23 

He is a bad preacher!

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He is a bad preacher!

(Charles Spurgeon

“Tell it to your children, and let your children tell it to their children, and their children to the next generation.” Joel 1:3 

In this simple way, by God’s grace, a living testimony for truth is always to be kept alive in the land. The beloved of the Lord are to hand down their witness for the gospel to their heirs, and these again to their next descendants. 

This is our first duty–we are to begin at the family hearthHe is a bad preacher, who does not commence his ministry at home. The heathen are to be sought by all means, and the highways and hedges are to be searched–but home has a prior claim, and woe unto those who reverse the order of the Lord’s arrangements. 

To teach our children is a personal duty. We cannot delegate it to Sunday School Teachers, or to the church. These can assist us–but cannot relieve us from the sacred obligation. Mothers and fathers must, like Abraham, command their households in the fear of God, and talk with their offspring concerning the wondrous works of the Most High God. 

Parental teaching is a natural duty. Who is so fit to look to after child’s well-being, as those who are the authors of his actual being? To neglect the instruction of our offspring is worse than brutish! 

Family instruction is necessary for the nation, for the family itself, and for the church of God. By a thousand plots, atheism is covertly advancing in our land, and one of the most effectual means for resisting its inroads is left almost neglected, namely, the instruction of children in the faith. Would that parents would awaken to a sense of the importance of this matter. 

It is a pleasant duty to talk of Jesus to our sons and daughters, and the more so because it has often proved to be an accepted work, for God has often saved the children through the parents’ prayers and admonitions. 

May every house into which this counsel shall come, honor the Lord in this matter and receive His smile!

“These commandments that I give to you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates!” Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 

When the Father of Lies enters the pulpit with a Bible under his arm!

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When the Father of Lies enters the pulpit with a Bible under his arm!

(Arthur Pink1886-1952)

The success of a counterfeiter depends largely upon how closely the counterfeit resembles the genuine article. 

Heresy is not so much the total denial of the truth, as a perversion of it. That is why a half-lie is always more dangerous than a complete repudiation. 

Hence when the Father of Lies enters the pulpit with a Bible under his arm it is not his custom to flatly deny the fundamental truths of Christianity; rather he tacitly acknowledges them, and then proceeds to give an erroneous interpretation and a false application.

False prophets are to be found in the circles of the most orthodox, and they pretend to have a fervent love for souls–yet they fatally delude multitudes concerning the way of salvation! These pulpit hucksters have wantonly lowered the standard of divine holiness and so adulterated the Gospel, in order to make it palatable to the carnal mind.

Any preacher . . .
  who adulterates God’s Word,
  who denies repentance to be a condition of salvation,
  who assures the giddy and godless that they are loved by God,
  who declares that saving faith is nothing more mental assent
–is a false prophet, and should be shunned as a deadly plague!

It is only those who truly love Christ who are fitted to minister to His flock! 
The work is so laborious, 
the appreciation is often so small, 
the response is so discouraging, 
the criticisms are so harsh, 
the attacks of Satan are so fierce,
that only the “love of Christ”–His love for us and our love for Him–can “constrain” to such work. 

“Hirelings” will feed the goats–but only those who love Christ can feed His sheep!

Later you will understand

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Later you will understand

(Charles Naylor, “When Adversity Comes” 1944)

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

A few years ago a young preacher came to me and told me his troubles. He was passing through a time of darkness that he could not understand. Several months ago he called upon me again, and in the course of our conversation he referred to the time of trouble through which he had passed. He said, “Those things that I could not understand at that time, have taught me lessons which have prepared me to help many souls as I never could have, had I not had those severe trials.” 

Yes, things look different now. He can now see God’s hand in it. He can see that those difficult things were a blessing to his own soul and to the souls of others. He can see that he had been in God’s school of adversity and knew it not. He thought these things were destructive to him, but when he looked back upon them with clear vision and a knowledge of God’s purpose–he saw real blessing in them. He saw them as manifestations of the wisdom and kindness of God, and he thanked God for those things which had been bitter and hard to bear.

Are you passing through difficult things which you cannot now understand? 

Does it look as if these things are ruining you? 

Just trust God and be patient. Out of your night of bitterness, out of your darkness and woe–will come strength of character, a blessed realization of God’s faithfulness, and a knowledge of Him and yourself which can come to you in no other way. You will look back in time to come, and thank God for His wise care and tender love for you which brought you to these things, and realize that it was His hand leading you to better and richer things beyond.

Do not judge a minister . . .

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Do not judge a minister . . .

(Thomas Brooks, “The Unsearchable Riches of Christ!“)

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

It is sad to see how many preachers in our days make it their business to enrich men’s heads with lofty, empty, airy notions–instead of enriching their souls with holy truths. 

Fix yourself under that man’s ministry who makes it his business, his work–to enrich the soul, to win the soul, and to build up the soul; not to tickle the ear, or please the fancy. This age is full of such light, vain souls–who dislike everything but what is empty and airy.

Do not judge a minister . . .
  by his voice, nor
  by the multitude who follow him, nor
  by his affected tone, nor
  by his rhetoric and flashes of wit;
but by the holiness, heavenliness, and spiritualness of his teaching! 
Many ministers are like empty orators, who have a flood of words–but a drop of matter!

Some preachers affect rhetorical strains; they seek abstrusities and love to hover and soar aloft in dark and cloudy expressions, and so shoot their arrows over their hearers’ heads–instead of bettering their hearers’ hearts. 

Mirthful things in a sermon are only for men to gaze upon and admire. 

He is the best preacher, not who tickles the ear–but who breaks the heart!


“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power!” 1 Corinthians 2:4-5

What a farce it all is!

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What a farce it all is!

(Arthur Pink)

The vast majority of the churches are in a sorry state! Those that are out-and-out worldly are at their wits end to invent new devices for drawing a crowd. Others which still preserve an outward form of godliness often provide nothing substantial for the soul; there is little ministering of Christ to the heart, and little preaching of sound doctrine without which souls cannot be built up and established in the faith.

The great majority of the pastors summon to their aid some professional speaker, who puts on a high-pressure campaign and secures sufficient new ‘converts’ to take the place of those who have ‘lapsed’ since he was last with them.

What a farce it all is!

What is most needed today!

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What is most needed today!

(Arthur Pink)

It is my deepening conviction that what is most needed today is a wide proclamation of those Scripture truths which are the least acceptable to the flesh.

What is needed today, is a scriptural setting forth of the character of God:
   His absolute sovereignty,
   His ineffable holiness,
   His inflexible justice,
   His unchanging veracity.

What is needed today, is a scriptural setting forth of the condition of the natural man:
   his total depravity,
   his spiritual insensibility,
   his inveterate hostility to God,
   the fact that he is “condemned already,” and
   that the wrath of a sin-hating God is even now abiding upon him!

What is needed today, is a scriptural setting forth of the alarming danger which sinners are in–the indescribably awful doom which awaits them; and the fact that if they follow their present course only a little further, they shall most certainly suffer the due penalty of their iniquities!

What is needed today, is a scriptural setting forth of the nature of that dreadful punishment which awaits the lost:
   the dreadfulness of it,
   the hopelessness of it,
   the unendurableness of it,
   and the endlessness of it! 

They have often destroyed, by their daily lives–the whole work of their lips!

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They have often destroyed, by their daily lives–the whole work of their lips!

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

“He told them: Take nothing for the journey–no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town.” Luke 9:3-4 

Let us observe that our Lord charges His apostles, when He sends them forth–to study simplicity of habits, and contentment with such things as they have. 

These instructions contain a lesson for all time. The spirit of these verses is meant to be remembered by all ministers of the Gospel. The leading idea which the words convey–is a warning against worldliness and luxurious habits

Well would it be for the world and the Church, if the warning had been more carefully heeded! From no quarter has Christianity received such damage–as it has from the hands of its own ministers! On no point have its ministers erred so much, and so often–as in the matter of personal worldliness, and luxury of lifeThey have often destroyed, by their daily lives–the whole work of their lips! They have given occasion to the enemies of religion to say that they love ease, and money, and earthly things–far more than souls. 

From such ministers, may we pray daily that the Church may be delivered! They are a living stumbling-block in the way to Heaven. They are helpers to the cause of the devil–and not of God. The preacher whose affections are set on money, and finery and feasting, and pleasure-seeking–has clearly mistaken his vocation. He has forgotten his Master’s instructions. He is not an apostolic man!

The characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit!

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The characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit!

(J.C. Ryle)

John said to the crowds coming out to be baptized by him: You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath! Produce fruit in keeping with repentance!” Luke 3:7-8

Well would it be for the Church of Christ, if it possessed more plain-speaking ministers like John the Baptist.
  A morbid dislike to strong language;
  an excessive fear of giving offence;
  a constant flinching from directness and plain speaking–
are, unhappily, too much the characteristics of the modern Christian pulpit!

Uncharitable language is no doubt always to be deprecated. But there is no ‘charity’ in flattering unconverted people–by abstaining from any mention of their vices, or in applying smooth names to their damnable sins!

There are two texts which are too much forgotten by Christian preachers. In one it is written, “Woe unto you–when all men shall speak well of you!” (Luke 6:26)

In the other it is written, “Obviously, I’m not trying to be a people pleaser! No, I am trying to please God. If I were still trying to please people–I would not be Christ’s servant.” (Galatians 1:10)

The sword of God’s truth!

Grace logoThe sword of God’s truth!
 
(Arthur Pink, “Faithfulness”)
 
“Their speech is filled with flattery.” Psalm 5:9
 
This is the identifying mark of the “hireling,” the false pastor. He aims at pleasing his hearers, making them feel satisfied with themselves, ever patting them on the back. 
 
“But he who has My Word–let him speak My Word faithfully” (Jeremiah 23:28)–no matter how unpalatable it may be to the flesh, how much of a weariness to those who wish to have their ears tickled with novelties, or how loud the outcry against it is! 
 
Ministerial faithfulness includes . . .
  loyalty to his Master, 
  devotion to His interests, 
  steadfast adherence to the preaching of His Word,
  dispensing the truth unto those whose souls are committed to Him,
  not mixing it with his speculations, much less substituting false doctrine.

A far higher motive than the pleasing of his hearers must actuate and regulate ministerial service. 

Faithful preaching will render the minister unpopular, and will empty churches–not fill them!
 
“Then you will know the truth–and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) Souls are caught fast in the meshes of Satan’s lies–and nothing but the sword of God’s truth can cut them free! 
 
“A faithful man–who can find?” (Proverbs 20:6). Why is this? Because it is the part of fallen human nature to take the line of least resistance, and choose the path easiest to the flesh. But remember, my reader, whoever you are, that, “Lying lips are abomination to the Lord–but those who deal faithfully are His delight.” (Proverbs 12:22)
 
“Be faithful unto death–and I will give you a crown of life!” (Revelation 2:10)

Sarah & I Visit Westminster Chapel

Me at Westminster Chapel

⇧ Me stood in front of Westminster Chapel ⇧ 

A few days ago Sarah & i finally got to visit Westminster Chapel. I’ve always wanted to visit since i first heard Dr Martyn Lloyd Jones preach via podcast and now on the MLJ Sermons iPhone app. As i listen to one of his sermons every night(there are around 1600 on the app) i’d always wanted to go and see.

 The Chapel was closed but Sarah and i had a lovely Cappuccino in the Royal Quarters Cafe directly over the road.

Since i’m posting, I thought i’d add last nights sermon as i go through Ephesians(see Youtube video below) as it not only convicts and moves me….It also edifies and builds me up. It’s solid meat and a huge feast every time as he never fails to feed the sheep.

Wise counsel for Preachers

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Wise counsel for Preachers

The year was 1768. A twenty-eight year old preacher by the name of Augustus Toplady, who wrote many of our best hymns, including “Rock of Ages”, spent the afternoon in London with Mr. Brewer–an older, veteran Gospel preacher, whom he greatly admired and from whom he learned much. This is what Mr. Brewer said to the young Toplady, as Toplady later recorded in his diary: 

“I cannot conclude without reminding you, my young brother, of some things that may be of use to you in the course of your ministry:

    1. Preach Christ crucified, and dwell chiefly on the blessings resulting from His righteousness, atonement, and intercession.

    2. Avoid all needless controversies in the pulpit–except it be when your subject necessarily requires it; or when the truths of God are likely to suffer by your silence.

    3. When you ascend the pulpit, leave your learning behind you. Endeavor to preach more to the hearts of your people–than to their heads.

    4. Do not affect too much oratory. Seek rather to profit your hearers–than to be admired by them.”

Christian ministers would do well to print out these four simple principles, tuck them in their Bibles, are refer to them every time they preach!

Self-sins!

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Self-sins!

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

(A.W. Tozer)

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

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

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

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

A most influential sermon!

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A most influential sermon!

(James Smith, “Good News for All” 1860)

“You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life,
 and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my
 patience, my love, and my endurance.” 2 Timothy 3:10 

A holy life is a most influential sermon!

“You ought to live holy and godly lives!” 2 Peter 3:11

Father knows best!

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Father knows best!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away — may the name of the LORD be praised!” Job 1:21

“Shall we accept good from God — and not trouble?” Job 2:10 
 

Let the Lord do as He wills to us! He will never be unkind to us! He has always been our friend — He will never be our foe! 

He will never put us into the furnace — unless He means to purge the dross out of us. Nor will there be one degree more heat in that furnace than is absolutely necessary — there will always be mercy to balance the misery — and strength supplied to support the burden to be borne.
 

Oh, children of God, your Father knows best! Leave everything in His hands and be at peace — for all is well.
 

“I was silent; I would not open my mouth — for You are the one who has done this!” Psalm 39:9 
 

“He is the LORD; let him do what is good in His eyes!” 1 Samuel 3:18 

“Even though the fig trees have no blossoms, and there are no grapes on the vines; even though the olive crop fails, and the fields lie empty and barren; even though the flocks die in the fields, and the cattle barns are empty — yet I will rejoice in the LORDI will be joyful in the God of my salvation!” Habakkuk 3:17-18 

“Little children, abide in him.”

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Little children, abide in him.” 
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon, “Preparation 
 for the Coming of the Lord.” #2105. 1 John 2:28. 

Just as little children are in daily dependence 
on their parents, Christians depend upon the 
Lord’s care. 

Why, beloved, the Lord has to nurse you! He 
feeds you with the unadulterated milk of the 
Word; he comforts you as a mother does her 
child; he carries you in his bosom, he bears 
you all your days. 

Your new life is as yet weak and struggling; 
do not carry it into the cold atmosphere of 
distance from Jesus. 

Little children, since you derive all from Jesus, 
abide in him. To go elsewhere will be to wander 
into a howling wilderness. The world is empty; 
only Christ has fullness. Away from Jesus you 
will be as a child deserted by its mother, left 
to pine, and starve, and die; or as a little lamb 
on the hillside without a shepherd, tracked by 
the wolf, whose teeth will soon extract its 
heart’s blood. 

Abide, O child, with your mother! 

Abide, O lamb, with your shepherd! 

Cling to the Lord Jesus in your feebleness, 
in your fickleness, in your nothingness; and 
abidingly take him to be everything to you. 

Why Christ offends men

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Why Christ offends men
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“Unbelievers stumbling; Believers rejoicing”

There are some who stumble at Christ because of his holiness.

He is too strict for them; they would like to be Christians,
but they cannot renounce their sensual pleasures; they
would like to be washed in his blood, but they desire still
to roll in the mire of sin.

Willing enough the mass of men would be to receive Christ,
if, after receiving him, they might continue in their drunkenness,
their wantonness, and self-indulgence. But Christ lays the axe
at the root of the tree; he tells them that these things must be
given up, for “because of these things the wrath of God comes
upon the children of disobedience,” and “without holiness no
man can see the Lord.”

Human nature kicks at this.

“What! May I not enjoy one darling lust? May I not indulge
myself at least now and then in these things? Must I altogether
forsake my old habits and my old ways? Must I be made a
new creature in Christ Jesus?”

These are terms too hard, conditions too severe, and so the
human heart goes back to the flesh pots of Egypt, and clings
to the garlic and the onions of the old estate of bondage, and
will not be set free even though a greater than Moses lifts up
the rod to part the sea, and promises to give to them a Canaan
flowing with milk and honey.

Christ offends men because his gospel is intolerant of sin.

Sound theologians!

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Sound theologians!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
PLAIN WORDS WITH THE CARELESS
No. 778 Luke 8:28.

A man may know a great deal about true
religion, and yet be a total stranger to it.

He may know that Jesus Christ is the Son of
God, and yet he may be possessed of a devil.

Mere knowledge does nothing for us but puff us up.

We may know, and know, and know, and so
increase our responsibility, without bringing
us at all into a state of salvation.

Beware of resting in head-knowledge.

Beware of relying upon orthodoxy,
for without love to Christ, with all your
correctness of doctrine, you will be a
sounding brass and a tinkling cymbal.

It is well to be sound in the faith,
but the soundness must be in the
heart as well as in the head.

There is as ready a way to destruction by the road
of orthodoxy as by the paths of heterodoxy.

Hell has thousands in it who were never heretics.

Remember that the devils “believe and tremble.”

There are no sounder theologians than devils,
and yet their conduct is not affected by
what they believe, and consequently they still
remain at enmity to the Most High God. A mere
head-believer is on a par therefore with fallen
angels, and he will have his portion with them
forever unless grace shall change his heart.

Murder all his hearers at once!

Murder all his hearers at once!

(Thomas Brooks, “The Crown and Glory of Christianity,
or, HOLINESS, the Only Way to Happiness”, 1662)

“The leaders of the people have led them down the path of destruction.” Isaiah 9:16

Take heed of settling yourselves under an unholy minister —of one whose life gives the lie to his doctrine. An unholy preacher is the greatest destroyer of the souls of men! He who preaches well—but lives bad—does what he can, to murder all his hearers at once! There is no greater bar to holiness, than ministers’ unholy lives. An unholy life mars the soundest and the sweetest doctrine. The sins of teachers are the teachers of sins!

An unholy minister is the greatest pest, the worst plague, and the greatest mischief—that can be to a people; for his enormities, his wickednesses, will have the strongest influences upon the souls and lives of men—to make them eternally miserable. 

His falls will be the fall and ruin of many; for people are prone to . . .

live more by examples—than by precepts;
mind more what the minister does—than what he says;
eye more how he walks—than how he talks.

Let a minister be ever so learned, solid, quaint, elegant, zealous, judicious, sententious, etc.—yet if he is carnal, covetous, worldly, vain, and loose in his life and walk, his hearers will rather slight and abhor the holy things of God.

When the preacher departs out of the way of holiness, the people will quickly wander from all that is good. He whose life is not a standing reproof to sin, will, by his life, encourage sinners more and more in a way of sin. There is nothing which keeps men so off from the love of holiness, and from the pursuing after holiness—than the unholy lives of their ministers.

“Watch your life and doctrine closely.” 1 Timothy 4:16

“Set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

“In everything set them an example by doing what is good.” Titus 2:7

Serving with ulterior motives…

Serving with ulterior motives…

by F. B. Meyer

How many of us, who are engaged in the Lord’s holy service, are secretly cherishing some proud aspiration of excelling other men, of making a name for ourselves, of securing money or fame!

We will use the pulpit as a pedestal for the adulation of the world, and the cross for a post on which to hang garlands to our own glory.

How often do we preach sermons, or make addresses, and attend meetings, with no other thought than to secure the recognition and praise of those to whom we ‘minister’.

All of this must be laid aside. We must have no selfish, prideful ulterior motives to serve Christ.

A Challenge For The Pastors!

A Challenge For The Pastors!

Spurgeon, “Come from the four winds, O breath!”

If the Holy Spirit does not come, and give spiritual life, we may preach until we have not another breath left, but we shall not raise from the tomb of sin even the soul of a little child, or bring a single sinner to the feet of Christ.

Look sir, you may study your sermon; you may examine the original of your text; you may critically follow it out in all its bearings; you may go and preach it with great correctness of expression; but you cannot quicken a soul by that sermon.

You may go up into your pulpit; you may illustrate, explain, and enforce the truth; with mighty rhetoric you may charm your hearers; you may hold them spellbound; but no eloquence of yours can raise the dead.

Another voice than yours must be heard!

Other power than that of your thought or persuasion must be brought into the work, or it will not be done.

You may organize your societies, you may have excellent methods, you may diligently pursue this course and that; but when you have done all, nothing comes of it if the effort stands by itself.

Only as the Spirit of God shall bless men by you, shall they receive a blessing through you.

Whatever your ability or experience, it is the Spirit of God, who must bless your labour.

We are nothing; you are nothing.

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts,” is a message that should make us lie in the dust, and utterly despair of doing anything in and of ourselves, seeing that all the power is of God alone.

It will do us good to be very empty, to be very weak, to be very distrustful of self, and so to go about out Master’s work. 

We’re A Million, Billion Miles Away From New Testament Christianity!

I went to a church not along ago — they got thirty acres. So what are their plans with it? They want their own football field and tennis courts. Dear God, do we go to church to learn to play tennis? God help the preachers!

We have such an accommodating Christianity today.

The best title of the professing church of God today, in my judgment, is “Unbelieving Believers.” There’s cancer in the church tonight!

At this grim hour, the world sleeps in the darkness — and the Church sleeps in the light.

You’ll never get me to believe that the church today believes in Hell.

We’re a million, billion miles away from New Testament Christianity!

I doubt if 5% of professing Christians in America are born again!

Entertainment is the devil’s substitute for joy. The more joy you have in the Lord, the less entertainment you need.

Is the world crucified to you — or does it fascinate you?

The apostles had no gold, but lots of glory. We have lots of gold, but no glory.
The book of Acts shows us the church before it became fat and short of breath by prosperity!

Who or what takes priority over God in our lives?

Where, oh, where are the eternity-conscious believers?

Where are the souls white-hot for God because they fear His holy name and presence and so live with eternity’s values in view?

There’s no cost of being a Christian!

I’d rather have ten people who want God — than 10,000 people who want to play church!

(Leonard Ravenhill)


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