Tag Archives: Verse 4 2day!

The infinite tenderness of Jesus!

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The infinite tenderness of Jesus!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd sacrifices His life for the sheep!” John 10:11¬†

“He will carry the lambs in His bosom, holding them close to His heart!” Isaiah 40:11

Who is He of whom such gracious words are spoken? He is the Good Shepherd. Why does He carry the lambs in His bosom? Because He has a tender heart, and any weakness in His redeemed children at once melts His heart. 

The sighs, the ignorance, the feebleness of the little ones of His flock draw forth His compassion. 

He is considerate of the weak of His flock. He purchased them with His blood, they are His property–He must and will care for those who cost Him so dear.¬†

He is responsible for each lamb, bound by covenant engagements not to lose one. They are all a part of His glory and reward. 

“He carries the lambs in His bosom!”

Here is boundless affection. Would He put them in His bosom if He did not love them so much? 

Here is tender nearness. So near are they, that they could not possibly be nearer. 

Here is¬†hallowed familiarity. There are precious ‘love passages’ between Christ and His weak ones.¬†

Here is¬†perfect safety. In His bosom, who can hurt them? None can snatch them away from His omnipotence! They can never perish–ever!¬†

Here is perfect rest and sweetest comfort. 

Surely we are not sufficiently sensible of the infinite tenderness of Jesus!

Unless our study of Scripture . . .

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Unless our study of Scripture . . .

“He who says he abides in Him, ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.” 1 John 2:6

(Arthur Pink)

Unless our study of Scripture¬†is conforming us, both inwardly and outwardly, to the image of Christ–it profits us not!

“Leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21


True Christianity!

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True Christianity!

(J.C. Ryle)

“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain!” Philippians 1:21¬†

True Christianity is not merely the believing a certain set of theological propositions.

It is to live in daily personal communication with an actual living person–Jesus the Son of God!

“The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me!” Galatians 2:20¬†

“Consider carefully how you listen!” Luke 8:18

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“Consider carefully how you listen!”¬†Luke 8:18¬†

We learn from this verse,¬†the great importance of right hearing.¬†The words of our Lord Jesus Christ ought to impress that lesson deeply on our hearts. He says, “Consider carefully how you listen!

The degree of benefit which men receive from all the¬†means of grace–depends entirely on the¬†way¬†in which they use them.¬†

Private PRAYER lies at the very foundation of religion–yet the mere formal repetition of a set of words, when “the heart is far away”–does good to no man’s soul.¬†

Reading the BIBLE is essential to the attainment of sound Christian knowledge–yet the mere formal reading of so many chapters as a task and duty, with out a humble desire to be taught of God, is little better than a waste of time.¬†

Just as it is with¬†praying¬†and¬†Bible reading–so it is with LISTENING. It is not enough that we go to Church and hear sermons. We may do so for fifty years, and be nothing bettered, but rather worse! “Consider carefully,” says our Lord, “how¬†you listen!”

Would anyone know how to listen aright? Then let him lay to heart three simple rules: 

For one thing, we must listen with FAITH, believing implicitly that every Word of God is true, and shall stand. The Word in old time did not profit the Jews, “not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.” Hebrews 4:2¬†

For another thing, we must listen with REVERENCE–remembering constantly that the Bible is¬†the book of God. This was the habit of the Thessalonians. They received Paul’s message, “not as the word of men–but the Word of God.” 1 Thessalonians 2:13¬†

Above all, we must listen with PRAYER–praying for God’s blessing before the sermon is preached, and praying for God’s blessing again when the sermon is over. Here lies the grand defect of the hearing of many. They¬†ask¬†no blessing–and so they¬†receive¬†none. The sermon passes through their minds like water through a leaky vessel, and leaves nothing behind.

Let us bear these rules in mind every Sunday morning, before we go to hear the Word of God preached. Let as not rush into God’s presence careless, reckless, and unprepared–as if it did not matter how we listened. Let us carry with us faith, reverence, and prayer. If these three are our companions–then we shall listen with profit, and return with praise!

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 life.¬†They 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!

Think of all the hard things there are in your life

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Think of all the hard things there are in your life

(Susannah Spurgeon, “Words of Cheer and Comfort for Sick and Sorrowful Souls!” 1898)

“Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm.¬†There is nothing too hard for You!”¬†Jeremiah 32:17

“Then the word of the Lord came to Jeremiah: I am the LORD, the God of all mankind.¬†Is anything too hard for Me?”¬†Jeremiah 32:26-27

Dear reader, your difficulties and trials may not be similar to those of “the weeping prophet”–but they are very¬†real, and seemingly¬†insurmountable¬†to you. It is a fact that, of yourself, you can neither¬†overcome¬†nor¬†endure¬†them. So I want to remind you that the Lord’s hand is not shortened–that what was true of His power in Jeremiah’s time, is as certainly true today. Whatever present¬†hardship¬†may press upon you, or whatever¬†burden¬†may be weighing you down–you, yes,¬†you¬†may look up to Him with confident faith, and say,¬†“There is nothing too hard for You!”

Oh, the blessed peace which such an assurance brings! I do not know what your particular¬†sorrow¬†or¬†hardship¬†may be–but I do know that, whatever its nature–cruel, or bitter, or hopeless–it is as “nothing” to Him! He is able to deliver you–as easily as you can call upon Him for support and help.¬†

Now, dear friend, think of all the hard things there are in your life: 
  poor circumstances,
  difficult duties,
  grievous pains,
  sore struggles,
  bitter disappointments,
  harsh words,
  sinful thoughts,
  a hard heart of your own,
  a hard heart in others. 
Gather all these, and many more together, and pile them one on another until you have¬†one great mountain of afflictions–and your God still calmly asks the question:¬†“Is there anything too hard for Me?”

When our hearts are¬†weary¬†of life’s cares and crosses, when our¬†courage¬†flags because of our helplessness, and we cry out with the patriarch,¬†“All these things are against me!”–then what a support and stronghold is the fact that our God has all power in heaven and on earth!¬†There is nothing too¬†mighty¬†for Him to manage–there is nothing too¬†insignificant¬†to escape His notice!Jeremiah’s faith . . .
  sees no obstacles, 
  stumbles at no hindrances,
  faints under no burden,
  shrinks from no responsibilities
–because he realizes the¬†sublime Omnipotence¬†of God, and fortifies himself by calling to remembrance His “outstretched arm” in the¬†creation¬†of the heavens and the earth. Cannot¬†we¬†do likewise?

I took up a book in a leisure moment the other day, opened it carelessly, and this is what I read: “It is a scientifically proved fact, that this great globe on which we live, spins around on its axis at the rate of a thousand miles an hour, and propels through space in its orbit at a speed immensely greater!”¬†

The thought of this, seemed almost to take away my breath! Was I calmly and constantly living in¬†the swirl of such a stupendous miracle¬†as this? Then surely I could say, “Ah, Lord God! there is nothing too hard for You! My little troubles and afflictions–howsmall¬†they must be to You! Yet with what tender compassion, do You stoop from guiding the worlds in their courses–to support and comfort the hearts of those who fear You!”

Never let us give up in despair, while we have¬†such a God¬†to trust in. If there is a great¬†mountain of sorrow or difficulty¬†in your way, dear friend–do not be cast down by the darkness of its shadow. Your God can either make a way for you¬†through¬†it–or He can guide you¬†around¬†it–or, just as easily, He can¬†carry you right over it!¬†There is nothing too hard for Him! Expect Him to make the crooked things straight, and to bring the high things low. And while you keep humbly at His feet, He will work wondrously, and you shall see His salvation!

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.

Tenderly and graciously does He deal with us!

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Tenderly and graciously does He deal with us!

(Francis Bourdillon, “A Psalm of Blessing!” 1864)

“For He knows how weak we are–He remembers we are only dust. Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone–as though we had never been here! But the love of the LORD remains forever with those who fear Him.” Psalm 103:14-17

The¬†shortness¬†and¬†uncertainty¬†of our lives–our weakness, frailty, and sinfulness–God knows them all.¬†Tenderly and graciously does He deal with us!¬†In His great mercy and compassion, He . . .
  bears with us;
  raises us when we fall;
  strengthens us when we are weak; and
  helps, guides, sustains and comforts us. 

He has . . .
  a perfect knowledge of our needs, 
  an unspeakable compassion for them,
  and full power to supply them all.

His mercy is everlasting. It will never wear out–and never come to an end.¬†

As for us, we are frail and short-lived. Let but a few years pass, and . . .
  the strongest will have fallen to the sythe of death,
  the longest-lived will have all passed away, and
  our own course here below will have come to a close. 
“Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone–as though we had never been here!”¬†

Not so is the mercy of the Lord, and the things which He has prepared for those who love Him. They are from everlasting to everlasting. His promises will never fail. Jesus is . . .
  an all-sufficient Savior,
  an unfailing Advocate,
  an everlasting portion!

Well may every believer join with the Psalmist in rejoicing and praising God,
¬†¬† “Praise the¬†LORD, O my soul–all my inmost being, praise His holy name!
¬† ¬†¬†Praise the¬†LORD, O my soul–and do not forget all His benefits!”¬†Psalm 103:1-2

A man who hears many sermons

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A man who hears many sermons

(Charles Spurgeon)

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

It is well to¬†meditate¬†upon the things of God–because it is only by¬†pondering¬†the Scriptures, that we get the real nutriment out of them.¬†A man who hears many sermons–is not necessarily well-instructed in the faith. We may read so many religious books that we overload our brains, and they may be unable to work under the weight of the great mass of paper and of printer’s ink.

The man who reads but one book, and that book his Bible, and then meditates much upon it–will be a better scholar in Christ’s school than he who merely reads hundreds of books, and does not meditate at all!

Oh, that we might get into the very¬†heart¬†of the Word of God–and get that Word into ourselves!¬†

As I have seen the silkworm eat into the leaf and consume it, so ought we to do with the Word of the Lord–not crawl over its surface, but eat right into it until we have taken it into our inmost parts. It is idle merely to let the eye glance over the words, or to recollect the poetic expressions, or the historic facts; but it is blessed to eat into the very soul of the Bible until, at last, you come to talk in Scriptural language, and your very style is fashioned upon Scripture models–and, what is better still, your spirit is redolent with the words of the Lord!

“Your words were found, and I devoured them, and Your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart!” Jeremiah 15:16¬†

“Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth;¬†meditate¬†on it day and night, so that you may be careful to¬†do¬†everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful!” Joshua 1:8

The one who profits me most!

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The one who profits me most!

(Arthur Pink)

“Be an example to all believers . . .
  in what you teach,
  in the way you live,
¬† in your love, your¬†faith and your purity.” 1 Timothy 4:12

I will name some of the criteria by which I measure the helpfulness of a preacher or writer to my own soul. 

The one who profits me most, is the man . . .
  whose ministry brings the most awe of a holy and sovereign God into my heart,
  who reveals my sinfulness and failures to me,
  who conveys the most light on my path of duty,
  who makes Christ most precious to me,
  who encourages me to press forward along the narrow way.

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

Alas, how cold are our hearts, how trifling are our thoughts, how small is our zeal and love!

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Alas, how cold are our hearts, how trifling are our thoughts, how small is our zeal and love! 

(Francis Bourdillon, “We Need Stirring Up!” 1864)

“For this reason I will not be negligent to remind you always of these things, though you know and are established in the present truth. Yes, I think it is right, as long as I am in this tent, to¬†stir you up¬†by reminding you!” 2 Peter 1:12-13¬†

We need stirring up–not so much to be taught something new, as to be stirred up as to what we have learned already.¬†

Most of us have long ago been taught the facts and doctrines of the gospel. Probably we know them well. Perhaps we are even firmly “established in the present truth.” We have learned of¬†Heaven¬†and¬†Hell¬†and¬†eternity. We have been taught our lost estate as sinners, and that Jesus died for sinners–that His precious blood has atoned for sin, that He has opened the way for us to the throne of grace and to acceptance with God. We have heard of¬†death¬†and of¬†judgment–and of the uncertainty of life and the shortness of time. We have been told . . .
¬† of Satan’s devices,
  of the value of prayer,
  of the mercy and love of God in Christ,
  and of the work of the Spirit.

What is our spiritual state, after so much teaching?¬†Alas, how cold are our hearts, how trifling are our thoughts, how small is our zeal and love!¬†How little we have of deep sorrow for sin–and how little sincere faith in Jesus! Where are the fruits of the Spirit in us? Where is . . .
  that deep concern,
  that earnest desire,
  that prayerfulness,
  that watchfulness,
  that warmth of feeling,
¬† that pressing toward the mark–
which might be expected in those who have learned such things?

We need stirring up! 

We should stir ourselves up by the Word of God. 
Let us apply it to ourselves and take it as if addressed to us.
Let us not listen to it or read it carelessly–but as¬†the message of God to us!¬†
Let us not be¬†hearers¬†only–but¬†doers¬†of the Word . . .
¬† receiving it as God’s message,
  pondering it in our minds,
  applying it to ourselves,
  believing it, and
  striving to live by it!

Let us also pray for the¬†quickening influence of God’s Holy Spirit. This alone can really . . .
  stir the depths of our hearts,
  rouse us from spiritual sloth and 
  give us new earnestness and zeal!

Nothing more quickly or truly indicates an irreverent and undevout mind!

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Nothing more quickly or truly indicates an irreverent and undevout mind!

(Octavius Winslow)

“Our Father in Heaven, may Your name be kept holy.” Matthew 6:9

Nothing more quickly or truly indicates an irreverent and undevout mind, than¬†levity on sacred subjects. The individual who can provoke a smile, or indulge in a cleverness, or shape a witticism–at the expense of what is divine and sacred–is blasphemous indeed! He who can treat in a light manner any religious subject, who can turn the Bible into a jest-book, and intersperse secular conversation with religious phraseology or Scripture language in sport–will the great God hold such an irreverent and profane mind guiltless?

“You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain–for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain!” Exodus 20:7


How loudly and persuasively does His conduct preach!

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How loudly and persuasively does His conduct preach!

(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

“He who says he abides in Christ, ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” 1 John 2:6

It was highly important and desirable that the Lord Jesus should not only¬†describe¬†Christianity in His discourses, but¬†exemplify¬†it in His life and conduct. In Him, we see pure and undefiled religion embodied. In Him, Christianity lives and breathes. How convincing, how animating is our Savior’s example!¬†How loudly and persuasively does His conduct preach!¬†

Would you learn submission to parental authority? See Him, notwithstanding His exalted character, cheerfully subjecting Himself to the will of His parents; and laboring with them, as a carpenter, for almost thirty years. 

Would you learn contentment with a poor and low condition? See Him destitute of a place where to lay His head. 

Would you learn active beneficence? See Him going about doing good. 

Would you learn to be fervent and constant in devotional exercises? See Him rising for prayer before the dawn of day. 

Would you learn in what manner to treat your brethren? See Him washing His disciples’ feet.¬†

Would you learn filial piety? See Him forgetting His sufferings, while in the agonies of death–to provide another son for His desolate mother.¬†

Would you learn in what manner to pray for relief under afflictions? See Him in the garden of Gethsemane. 

Would you learn how to bear insults and injuries? See Him on the cruel cross!

In short, there is no Christian grace or virtue, which is not beautifully exemplified in His life. 

There is scarcely any¬†situation, however perplexing, in which the Christian, who is at a loss to know how he ought to act–may not derive sufficient instruction from¬†the example of his divine Master.

“Leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21

Fanning the inextinguishable fire, and sharpening the tooth of the immortal worm!

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Fanning the inextinguishable fire, and sharpening the tooth of the immortal worm! 

(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)

If you would learn the full extent of that wretchedness which sin produces--then you must follow it into the eternal world, and descend into those regions where peace and hope never come. There behold sin tyrannizing over its wretched victims with uncontrollable fury–fanning the inextinguishable fire, and sharpening the tooth of the immortal worm!

See angels and archangels, thrones and dominions, principalities and powers–stripped of all their original glory and beauty–bound in eternal chains, and burning with rage and malice against that Being in whose presence they once rejoiced, and whose praises they once sang!

See multitudes of the human race, in unutterable agonies of anguish and despair–cursing the Giver and Prolonger of their existence, and vainly wishing for annihilation to put an end to their miseries.¬†

Follow them through the long, long ages of eternity–and see them sinking deeper and deeper in the bottomless abyss of ruin! View them perpetually blaspheming God because of their plagues, and receiving the punishment of these blasphemies in continued additions to their wretchedness.¬†

Such are the wages of sin–such the doom of the finally impenitent!

From these depths of anguish and despair–look¬†up¬†to the mansions of the blessed, and see to what a height of glory and felicity, the grace of God will raise every sinner who repents. See those who are thus favored in unutterable ecstasies of joy, love, and praise–beholding God face to face, reflecting His perfect image, shining with a splendor like that of their glorious Redeemer, and¬†bathing in those rivers of pleasure¬†which flow forever at God’s right hand!¬†

Do you ask why He is angry?

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Do you ask why He is angry? 

I answer:

He is angry to see rational, immortal and accountable beings–spending twenty, forty, or sixty years in trifling and sin; serving numerous idols, lusts, and vanities, and living as if death were an eternal sleep!¬†

He is angry to see you forgetting your Maker in childhood, in youth, in manhood–and making no returns for all His benefits.

He is angry to see you casting off His fear and rebelling against Him–who has nourished and sustained you.¬†

He is angry to see you laying up treasures on earth–and not in Heaven.¬†

He is angry to see you seeking everything in preference to the one thing needful.

He is angry to see you loving the praise of men more than the praise of God; and fearing those who can only kill the body, more than Him who has power to cast both soul and body into Hell.

He is angry to see that you disregard alike His threatenings and His promises, His judgments and His mercies. 

He is angry that you bury in the earth the talents He has given you, and bring forth no fruit to His glory. 

He is angry that you neglect His Word and His Son, and perish in impenitency and unbelief.

These are sins of which every person, in an unconverted state, is guilty. And for these things God is angry–daily¬†angry,¬†greatlyand¬†justly¬†angry! And unless His anger is speedily appeased, it will most certainly prove your everlasting destruction!

He will sustain you!

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He will sustain you!

(J.R. Miller)

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

The promise is not that the Lord will¬†remove¬†the load we cast upon Him, nor that He will¬†carry¬†it for us–but that He will¬†sustain¬†us so that¬†we¬†may carry it.
He does not¬†free¬†us from the duty–but He¬†strengthens¬†us for it.
He does not¬†deliver¬†us from the conflict–but He enables us to¬†overcome.¬†
He does not withhold or withdraw the trial from us–but He helps us in trial to be submissive and victorious, and makes it a blessing to us.¬†
He does not mitigate the hardness or severity of our circumstances, taking away the difficult elements, removing the thorns, making life¬†easy¬†for us–but He puts Divine grace into our hearts, so that we can live sweetly in all the hard, adverse circumstances.

“My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” 2 Corinthians 12:9¬†

“I can do all things through Christ who¬†strengthens¬†me!” Philippians 4:13¬†

A clean path to Hell!

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A clean path to Hell!

(Charles Spurgeon)

Unbelief will destroy the best of us!

Faith will save the worst of us!

There is¬†a clean path to Hell–as well as a dirty one.¬†

You will be lost if you trust to your good works–as surely as if you trusted in your sins.¬†

There is a road to perdition along the ‘highway of morality’–as surely as down the ‘slough of vice’!¬†

“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us!” Titus 3:5¬†

Jesus Christ is completely sufficient!

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Jesus Christ is completely sufficient!

“For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and¬†you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power!” Colossians 2:9-10¬†

One of the great tenets of Scripture, is the claim that Jesus Christ is completely sufficient for all matters of life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3-4)! 

He is sufficient for:
  creation (Colossians 1:16-17)
  salvation (Hebrews 10:10-12)
  sanctification (Ephesians 5:26-27)
  and glorification (Romans 8:30). 

So pure is He, that there is no blemish, stain, spot of sin, defilement, deception, corruption, error, or imperfection in Him! (1 Peter 1:18-20)

So complete is He, that . . .
  there is no other God besides Him (Isaiah 45:5)
  He is the only begotten Son (John 1:14, John 1:18)
  all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge are in Him (Colossians 2:3)
  the fullness of the Godhead dwells bodily in Him (Colossians 2:9)
  He is heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2)
¬† He created all things–and all things were made¬†
      by Him, through Him, and for Him (Colossians 1:16)
  He upholds all things by the word of His power (Colossians 1:17, Hebrews 1:3)
  He is the firstborn of all creation (Colossians 1:15)
  He is the exact representation of God (Hebrews 1:3).

He has no beginning and no end (Revelation 1:17-18) 
He is the spotless Lamb of God (John 1:29)
He is our peace (Ephesians 2:14) 
He is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1) 
He is our life (Colossians 3:4) 
He is the living and true Way (John 14:6) 
He is the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright and Morning Star (Revelation 22:16) 
He is Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11) 
He is the Author and Finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2) 
He is Captain of our Salvation (Hebrews 2:10)  
He is the Elect One (Isaiah 42:1) 
He is the Apostle and High-Priest of our confession (Hebrews 3:1) 
He is the Righteous Servant (Isaiah 53:11).
He is the Lord Almighty (Malachi 3:17)
He is the Redeemer (Isaiah 41:14)
He is the Holy One of Israel (Isaiah 54:5)
He is the God of the whole earth (Isaiah 54:5) 
He is the Man of Sorrows (Isaiah 53:3) 
He is the Light of the world (John 9:5)
He is the Son of Man (Matthew 20:28) 
He is the true Vine (John 15:5)
He is the Bread of Life (John 6:48)
He is the Door to Heaven (John 10:7)
He is the Sovereign Lord (Philippians 2:10-13) 
He is Prophet, Priest and King (Hebrews 1:1-3) 
He is our Sabbath rest (Hebrews 4:9) 
He is our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:6) 
He is the Wonderful Counselor, the Mighty God, 
   the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6) 
He is the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4) 
He is the Lion of Judah (Revelation 5:5)
He is the Rock of Salvation (Psalm 62:2)
He is the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:13)
He is the Counselor and Comforter (John 14:26)
He is the Messiah (John 4:25-26) and 
He is the great I AM (John 8:58)!

Yet it is a profitable loss!

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Yet it is a profitable loss!

(Thomas Charles, “The Benefits of Affliction” 1838)

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

Inasmuch as God has assured us that He causes all things to work together for our good–patience and resignation to the divine will in all things, is our duty. In His good time He may allow us to see such wisdom and goodness in all of our circumstances, as to fill our hearts with transports of joy. To follow Him is our part–without murmuring or complaining.

Nothing befalls us without a cause–no trouble comes upon us sooner, or presses more heavily, or continues longer–than what God knows that our case requires. What our short-sighted ignorance calls¬†adversities¬†or¬†evils–are in reality and truth, well-designed and gracious¬†blessings, and form a part of the means employed by God’s goodness and grace, to prepare us for the exceeding and eternal weight of glory. Away then with all impatience and all murmurings!

All our desire in this world, should be to live¬†holily¬†and live¬†usefully–and affliction, by the blessing of God, has great influence in promoting both. Sanctified affliction greatly promotes holiness, and is also a great preparative for usefulness. It is working out at the same time a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory in the eternal world. God always chastens us, for our profit. Though we may thereby lose earthly comforts, ease and enjoyments–yet it is a profitable loss. What we lose in these things–we gain in holiness. It is for our profit, to become partakers of His holiness.¬†

“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

How kind and merciful Christ is to dull and slow believers

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How kind and merciful Christ is to dull and slow believers

(J.C. Ryle)

“Then He said to Thomas:¬†Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side; and do not be unbelieving, but believing.”¬†John 20:27¬†

We should mark in this verse,¬†how kind and merciful Christ is to dull and slow believers.¬†Nowhere, perhaps, in all the four Gospels, do we find this part of our Lord’s character so beautifully illustrated as in the story before our eyes.

It is hard to imagine anything more tiresome and provoking than the conduct of¬†Thomas, when even the testimony of ten faithful brethren had no effect on him, and he doggedly declared, “Unless I see in His hands the imprint of the nails, and put my finger into the place of the nails, and put my hand into His side–I will not believe!”¬†John 20:25

But it is impossible to imagine anything more patient and compassionate, than our Lord’s treatment of this weak disciple. He does not reject him, or dismiss him, or excommunicate him. He comes again at the end of a week, and apparently for the special benefit of¬†Thomas. He deals with him according to his weakness, like a gentle nurse dealing with a froward child, “Reach here with your finger, and see My hands; and reach here your hand and put it into My side.” If nothing but the plainest, coarsest, most material evidence could satisfy him–even that evidence was supplied. Surely this was a¬†love¬†that surpasses knowledge, and a¬†patience¬†that passes understanding.

A passage of Scripture like this, we need not doubt, was written for the special comfort of all true believers. The Holy Spirit knew well that the¬†dull, and the¬†slow, and the¬†stupid, and the¬†doubting–are by far the commonest type of disciples in this evil world. The Holy Spirit has taken care to supply abundant evidence that Jesus is rich in patience as well as compassion, and that He bears with the infirmities of all His people.¬†

Let us take care that we drink into our Lord’s spirit, and copy His example. Let us never set down men as godless, because their faith is feeble and their love is cold. Let us remember the case of¬†Thomas–and be very compassionate and of tender mercy.¬†

Our Lord has . . .
  many weak children in His family,
  many dull pupils in His school,
  many raw soldiers in His army,
  many lame sheep in His flock.
Yet He bears with them all, and casts none away. 

Happy is that Christian who has learned to deal likewise with his brethren. There are many in the Church, who, like Thomas, are dull and slow–but for all that, like Thomas, are real and true believers.

God washes and scours, trains and nurtures them!

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God washes and scours, trains and nurtures them!

(The Preacher’s Book)

Frankincense, when it is put into the¬†fire–gives off the greater perfume.¬†

Spice, if it is¬†pounded¬†and¬†beaten–smells the sweeter.¬†

The earth, when it is torn up with the¬†plough–becomes more fruitful.¬†

The seed in the ground, after¬†frost¬†and¬†snow¬†and¬†winter storms–grows the thicker.

The nearer the vine is¬†pruned¬†to the stock–the larger grapes it yields.

The grape, when it is most¬†pressed¬†and¬†beaten–makes the sweetest wine.

Linen, when it is¬†washed¬†and¬†wrung¬†and¬†beaten–is so made fairer and whiter.¬†

In the same way, the children of God receive great benefit by affliction–for by it¬†God washes and scours, trains and nurtures them.

“Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit!”¬†John 15:2¬†

I am fast borne along the stream of time!

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I am fast borne along the stream of time! 

(John MacDuff, “Evening Incense” 1856)

“It is appointed unto all once to die–and after death, the judgment!” Hebrews 9:27

O my Father, You are daily loading me with Your benefits–giving me unnumbered causes for gratitude¬†and thankfulness. No earthly friend could have loved and cared for me like You. Oh may the life You are thus preserving by Your unceasing bounty–be unreservedly dedicated to Your praise.

O my Father, keep me mindful that I am soon to be done with this fleeting world; that¬†I am fast borne along the stream of time–to the ocean of endless futurity!

May I be living in a constant state of preparedness for that solemn hour when small and great shall stand before You, and the booksshall be opened. Train me for eternity! Let me not be frittering away these fleeting, but precious moments. Impress on me the solemn conviction . . .
¬† that as men¬†live–so do men¬†die;¬†
¬† that as¬†death¬†leaves me–so¬†judgment¬†will find me;
¬† and that as¬†judgment¬†finds me–so¬†eternity¬†will keep me.

Oh let death leave me¬†falling asleep in Jesus, united to Him by a living faith–so that judgment may find me seated at His right hand, listening to the joyous welcome, “Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world!”

Blessed Jesus, all my hope of a glorious resurrection centers in You. I look to You as the strong tower which cannot be shaken. I flee anew to the holy sanctuary of Your covenant love. Sheltered there, amid a dissolving earth, and burning worlds–I shall be able joyfully to utter the challenge, “Who shall separate me from the love of Christ?”

Keep me from all negligence and unwatchfulness. Trim my flickering lamp. Let me live with Your Judgment-throne in view. May I ever remember–that I must soon give an¬†account¬†of myself to You, the infallible searcher of all hearts. May I feel that all the talents and means which You have given me–are¬†trusts¬†to be laid out for You. When you come to demand a reckoning, may I not be among the number of those who have hidden their talent in the earth, and have the¬†cheerless retrospect of a misspent life.

May every providential voice sound loud in my ears, “Arise and depart–for this is not your rest, because it is defiled–it is ruined, beyond all remedy!”

Make me more heavenly-minded. Give me more of a¬†pilgrim¬†attitude–and a pilgrim spirit. May I ever feel that¬†my true home¬†is above–and that I am here on earth, but a wayfarer and sojourner, as all my fathers were. May I attain, as I advance nearer to Heaven, the blessed habit of a holy life, declaring plainly that I am seeking a heavenly home.¬†

I delight often to anticipate that happy time, when I shall¬†suffer¬†no more–and¬†sin¬†no more!

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

The chain of redeeming love now holds them!

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The chain of redeeming love now holds them! 

(Henry Law)

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were¬†redeemed¬†from the empty way of life handed down to you from your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect!” 1 Peter 1:18-19¬†

Your¬†time¬†is redeemed–use it as a consecrated talent in His cause.¬†

Your¬†minds¬†are redeemed–employ them to learn His truth, and to meditate on His ways.¬†

Your¬†eyes¬†are redeemed–let them not look on vanity; close them on all sights of folly and evil.¬†

Your¬†feet¬†are redeemed–let them trample on the world and climb the upward hill of Zion and bear you onward in the mark of Christian zeal.¬†

Your¬†tongues¬†are redeemed–let them only sound His praise, and testify of His love, and call sinners to His cross.¬†

Your¬†hearts¬†are redeemed–let them love Him wholly, and have no place for rivals.

A redeemed flock should live in redemption’s pastures. The Redeemer’s freedmen should evidence, that they are called to holy liberty, and that their holy liberty is holy service. The chain of¬†sin¬†is broken–and¬†the chain of redeeming love¬†now holds them!

Cappuccino, Chicken Panini & The Immeasurable Riches Of His Grace

It’s Tuesday morning again and this means…..Going to Roots Coffee Shop to get a Cappuccino and a Chicken Panini. But this time while i was sat, my mind drifted to the grim reaper tattoo on my leg. It’s a constant reminder of the position i was in when i got it, and the position i’m in now….Which is life or death! 

As an unbeliever, i got it to simply look hard, and death was what people seemed to fear the most and they certainly didn’t like talking about it. So i thought this was the coolest thing…..Never knowing that God had already written about this. lol.

Ephesians 2:1-3 English Standard Version 

2 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins 2 in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience‚ÄĒ 3 among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body[a] and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind.

But now sitting here sipping my Cappuccino thinking….i still have the tattoo and yet i’m in a totally different position. Born again, a new creation….Not by anything i did, but by the Grace of our Lord Jesus. Unbelievable! 

Ephesians 2:4-10 English Standard Version 

By Grace Through Faith

4 But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, 5 even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ‚ÄĒby grace you have been saved‚ÄĒ 6 and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Each time i remember this tattoo on my leg, i remember that death has no sting for the Child of God…..

1 Corinthians 15:55-57 English Standard Version 

55 “O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?‚ÄĚ

56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

I fail to describe the Joy and Peace this gives me, knowing he has saved me and i can trust in Him. I love the line from the old Hymn: On Christ the solid rock i stand, all other ground is sinking sand.

Praise, And Thanks Be To God……It’s Our 10th Amazing Anniversary!!!

Hi all! I’m excited to tell you……It’s our 10th Wedding anniversary!!

I’ve scheduled this post as we are away celebrating, and also we should be in Corinth, Greece by now which i’m also excited about. I’ll post all about it(with photos) when we get back. 

Also a big thanks to all of you for being here for Sarah & i‚Ķ..Always showing love, kindness, encouragement and never failing to leave us smiling with your joyful comments. ūüė䬆

 

 

Me  Sarah

⇧ Me & my lovely wife Sarah! ⇧ 

Yay‚Ķ10 years today!!¬†ūüė䬆

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Ephesians 5:25-27 The Voice (VOICE)

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

My Thoughts…

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

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

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

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1 Corinthians 13:4-8 Amplified Bible

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

Love never fails…

Sarah & i in Love Heart

I Will Make Darkness Light

Isaiah 42:16 New King James Version (NKJV)

I will bring the blind by a way they did not know; I will lead them in paths they have not known. I will make darkness light before them, And crooked places straight. These things I will do for them, And not forsake them.

He flatters himself in his own eyes

Psalm 36:1-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

An oracle within my heart concerning the transgression of the wicked: There is no fear of God before his eyes. For he flatters himself in his own eyes, When he finds out his iniquity and when he hates. The words of his mouth are wickedness and deceit; He has ceased to be wise and to do good. He devises wickedness on his bed; He sets himself in a way that is not good; He does not abhor evil.

The Happiness of Those Who Trust in God

Psalm 34:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)

The Happiness of Those Who Trust in God

I will bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad. Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together.

You Have Kept Me Alive

Psalm 30:3-4 New King James Version (NKJV)

O Lord, You brought my soul up from the grave; You have kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit. Sing praise to the Lord, you saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.

Remembrance Sunday(inspiring you by reminding you of the Truth)

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2 Peter 1 Amplified Bible (AMP)

Growth in Christian Virtue

1 [a]Simon Peter, a bond-servant and apostle (special messenger, personally chosen representative) of Jesus Christ,

To those who have [b]received and possess [by God‚Äôs will] a precious faith of the [c]same kind as ours, by the righteousness of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ: 2 Grace and peace [that special sense of spiritual well-being] be multiplied to you in the [true, intimate] knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord. 3 For His divine power has bestowed on us [absolutely] everything necessary for [a dynamic spiritual] life and godliness, through [d]true and personal knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. 4 For by these He has bestowed on us His precious and magnificent promises [of inexpressible value], so that by them you may escape from the immoral freedom that is in the world because of disreputable desire, and become sharers of the divine nature. 5 For this very reason, applying your diligence [to the divine promises, make every effort] in [exercising] your faith to, [e]develop moral excellence, and in moral excellence, knowledge (insight, understanding), 6 and in your knowledge, self-control, and in your self-control, steadfastness, and in your steadfastness, godliness, 7 and in your godliness, brotherly affection, and in your brotherly affection, [develop Christian] love [that is, learn to unselfishly seek the best for others and to do things for their benefit]. 8 For as these qualities are yours and are increasing [in you as you grow toward spiritual maturity], they will keep you from being useless and unproductive in regard to the true knowledge and greater understanding of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is blind‚ÄĒshortsighted [closing his spiritual eyes to the truth], having become oblivious to the fact that he was cleansed from his old sins. 10 Therefore, believers, be all the more diligent to make certain about His calling and choosing you [be sure that your behavior reflects and confirms your relationship with God]; for by [f]doing these things [actively developing these virtues], you will never stumble [in your spiritual growth and will live a life that leads others away from sin]; 11 for in this way entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ will be abundantly provided to you.

12 Therefore, I will always be ready to remind you of these things, even though you already know them and are established in the truth which is [g]held firmly in your grasp. 13 I think it right, as long as I am in this earthly tent, to inspire you by reminding you, 14 knowing that the laying aside of this earthly tent of mine is imminent, as our Lord Jesus Christ has made clear to me. 15 Moreover, I will diligently endeavor [to see to it] that even after my departure you will be able, at all times, to call these things to mind.

Copyright © 2015 by The Lockman Foundation.

In Full View!

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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‚Äôre being) he‚Äôs stood watching you!¬†ūüėÄ

Bruce Sneaky

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

A Few Birds & Sea Creatures

Genesis 1:21-22 The Voice 

God: 20 Waters, swarm with fish and sea creatures. Let birds soar high above the earth in the broad expanse of sky.

21 So God created huge sea creatures, all the swarm of life in the waters, and every kind and species of flying birds‚ÄĒeach able to reproduce its own kind. And God saw that His new creation was beautiful and good. 22 And God spoke this blessing over them:

God: Be fruitful and multiply. Let creatures fill the seas. Let birds reproduce and cover the earth.

In Flight

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DSC00320

D2X 6738

D2X 6744

D2X 6745

A black and white close up photo of a ducks head

Seal

Turtle

See also Blind Photographer

Bad Boys Of The Bible: Abimelech

Bad Boys of the Bible

Abimelech

Judges 9 The Voice

1 Abimelech, the son of Jerubbaal, went to Shechem to the clan of his mother.

Abimelech (to his mother‚Äôs family): 2 Go, and say this so that all the leaders of Shechem can hear you: ‚ÄúIs it better that 70 sons of Jerubbaal should be your rulers, or only one of them?‚ÄĚ And remember that I share your own bone and flesh.

3 So Abimelech‚Äôs mother‚Äôs kinsmen went out and repeated these words to the leaders of Shechem, and they were favorably disposed toward him because they said, ‚ÄúHe is our brother.‚ÄĚ 4 They gave Abimelech 70 pieces of silver out of the treasury of Baal-berith, and he used the money to hire some reckless and worthless men who followed him and did his dirty work.

5 He went to his father’s house in Ophrah and killed all 70 of his half-brothers, the sons of Jerubbaal, on one stone. (Only Jotham, the youngest, was left alive, because he hid.) 6 Then all the leaders of Shechem and Beth-millo came together and crowned Abimelech king by the great oak tree at the pillar in Shechem.

7 When Jotham was told what had happened, he climbed to the top of Mount Gerizim.

Jotham: Listen to me, all you who are the leaders in Shechem, so that God may listen to you.

8 The trees once decided to go out
and anoint a king to rule them all.
They said to the olive tree,
‚ÄúReign over us.‚ÄĚ
9 But the olive tree refused, saying,
‚ÄúShould I stop producing the rich oil used to honor both gods and mortals so I can stand and sway over the trees?‚ÄĚ
10 Then the trees went to the fig tree, saying,
‚ÄúYou come and reign over us.‚ÄĚ
11 But the fig tree refused, saying,
‚ÄúShould I give up my sweetness and stop producing my delicious fruit so I can stand and sway over the trees?‚ÄĚ
12 Then the trees said to the grapevine,
‚ÄúYou come and reign over us.‚ÄĚ
13 But the vine refused, saying,
‚ÄúShould I stop producing the wine that cheers both gods and mortals so I can stand and sway over the trees?‚ÄĚ
14 At last the trees came to the worthless thornbush, saying,
‚ÄúYou come and reign over us.‚ÄĚ
15 And the thornbush said to the trees,
“If in good faith you want to anoint me as your king,
then come and take refuge in my shade (of which there was precious little).
But if you haven’t come in good faith, then let fire come from my brambles
and burn down the cedars of Lebanon.‚ÄĚ

16 Now if you have made this decision to crown Abimelech king in good faith, with sincerity, have acted honorably toward my father Jerubbaal and his family, and have treated him as his actions toward you deserve; 17 you know how my father fought for you, risked his life for you, rescued you from the hand of the Midianites. 18 But now here you are, rising up against my father’s house, killing all of his sons, 70 of them, on one stone; and you have made Abimelech, the son of my father’s slave woman, king over all the leaders of Shechem, simply because he is your kinsman. 19 Well, I say, if you have acted honorably toward Jerubbaal and his family, then now may you take joy in Abimelech, and may he take joy in you.

20 But if you have not acted honorably, then may fire come out of Abimelech and burn up the leaders of Shechem and Beth-millo. May fire come from you and burn up Abimelech.

21 When he had said these words, Jotham fled for his life to Beer, where he stayed because he was afraid of his brother Abimelech.

22 Abimelech was king over Israel for three years. 23 Then the one True God sent an evil spirit to stir up dissension between Abimelech and the leaders of Shechem. Consequently the leaders of Shechem acted with treachery against Abimelech; 24 and all of this happened so that the brutal murder of Jerubbaal’s 70 sons might be avenged and their bloodguilt laid upon their brother Abimelech, who had ordered their deaths, and on the leaders of Shechem who had lent their strength to his cause.

25 As a result of their new hatred for Abimelech, the leaders of Shechem began to ambush travelers along the mountain roads, robbing everyone who passed by, and these robberies were reported to Abimelech.

26 When Gaal, the son of Ebed, arrived in Shechem with his family, the leaders of Shechem trusted him. 27 After they had been in the fields, gathered the grapes, and trampled them for wine, they celebrated a festival in the temple of their god. While they ate and drank, they insulted Abimelech.

Gaal: 28 Who is this Abimelech, and who are we here in Shechem that we should serve him? Didn‚Äôt the son of Jerubbaal and his deputy, Zebul, serve the men of Hamor, Shechem‚Äôs father? Why then should we serve him? 29 I wish this people were under my command! I would get rid of Abimelech. I would tell him, ‚ÄúGo ahead. Call out your army!‚ÄĚ

30 When Zebul, who governed the city, heard what Gaal, the son of Ebed, said, he was furious. 31 Secretly he sent messengers to Abimelech.

Zebul’s Message: Here’s what’s happening: Gaal, son of Ebed, and his family have come to Shechem, and they are igniting the city against you. 32 You should go by night with your troops and lie in wait in the fields. 33 Then in the morning, when the sun comes up, march on the city; and when Gaal and his forces come out to defend it, you can deal with them.

34 Abimelech and his troops prepared to do just as Zebul suggested. Four companies of men waited for morning. 35 When Gaal, the son of Ebed, went outside, stood in the gate of the city, and looked out, Abimelech and his troops rose from their hiding places to attack.

Gaal (seeing them): 36 Look, Zebul, people are coming down from the mountaintops!

Zebul: It’s just the shadows on the mountains. They must look like men to you.

Gaal: 37 No, look! One company is coming right down the center, and another company is coming from the direction of the fortune-teller’s tree!

Zebul: 38 Where are your big words now? Where is the loudmouth who said, ‚ÄúWho is this Abimelech, that we should serve him?‚ÄĚ Aren‚Äôt these the men you insulted? Go on, fight them!

39 So Gaal gathered the leaders of Shechem, and they fought against Abimelech’s forces. 40 Abimelech overwhelmed Gaal and chased him and his men, many of whom were wounded and fell along the way as they retreated, all the way to the gate. 41 Abimelech remained in Arumah, and Zebul threw Gaal and his people out of Shechem.

42 The next day the people of Shechem went out to work the fields. After hearing this news, Abimelech 43 took his troops, divided them into three groups, and set an ambush in the fields.

When he saw the people emerge from Shechem, he ordered his troops to attack them. 44 Abimelech and his men captured a forward position at the city gate, cutting off any retreat. Then the other two companies of Abimelech’s men swept down on the people trapped in the fields and cut them down. 45 Abimelech continued his attack all day long, until he had captured Shechem and killed everyone in it. Then he demolished the city and scattered salt over the place where it had once stood.

Abimelech here carries out a devastating act in antiquity that ensures the death of an agricultural area, both food and water sources, for subsequent generations.

46 When those leaders inside the tower of Shechem heard this news, all of them entered into the stronghold of the temple of El-berith. 47 Abimelech learned that all the leaders were in the tower, and 48 he took his men up Mount Zalmon. There he took an ax, cut a bundle of firewood, and hoisted it atop his shoulders, ordering his men to quickly do the same. 49 When they had all cut and loaded their wood, they followed Abimelech back to the stronghold, where they piled the wood against the walls and set fire to it, killing about 1,000 men and women inside the tower of Shechem.

50 Next, Abimelech went on to Thebez. He laid siege to it, captured it, and 51 discovered that in the city was a strong tower where the leaders and men and women of the city had locked themselves in to escape and had climbed onto the roof. 52 So he stormed the tower, ready to burn this tower as he had the other. 53 But this time as he approached the entrance, a woman dropped an upper millstone upon him, crushing his skull.

Abimelech (to his armor-bearer): 54 Take your sword and kill me. I won‚Äôt have anyone say that I died like this‚ÄĒkilled by a woman.

The young man killed Abimelech with the sword.

55 When the people of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they all went back home.

56 So God avenged the evil that Abimelech had committed against his father by murdering his 70 brothers, 57 and the evil of the leaders of Shechem God brought back on their heads; everything happened just as Jotham, son of Jerubbaal, had prophesied when he cursed them all.

More Bad Boys Of The Bible

We Must Receive His Grace

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2 Peter 1:3-4 The Voice

His divine power has given us everything we need to experience life and to reflect God’s true nature through the knowledge of the One who called us by His glory and virtue. Through these things, we have received God’s great and valuable promises, so we might escape the corruption of worldly desires and share in the divine nature.

God took the first step to rescue us from this corrupt world. He has granted us His power, revealed to us true knowledge, and spoken to us great promises. He has done all this for a reason: that we might participate in His own nature and reflect His own life. But we are not passive observers of God’s saving actions. We must receive His grace, grow in knowledge, and join Him in this work of redemption.

From Death To Life

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Ephesians 2:1-10 Easy-to-Read Version

From Death to Life

In the past you were spiritually dead because of your sins and the things you did against God. Yes, in the past your lives were full of those sins. You lived the way the world lives, following the ruler of the evil powers that are above the earth. That same spirit is now working in those who refuse to obey God. In the past all of us lived like that, trying to please our sinful selves. We did all the things our bodies and minds wanted. Like everyone else in the world, we deserved to suffer God’s anger just because of the way we were.

But God is rich in mercy, and he loved us very much. We were spiritually dead because of all we had done against him. But he gave us new life together with Christ. (You have been saved by God’s grace.) Yes, it is because we are a part of Christ Jesus that God raised us from death and seated us together with him in the heavenly places. God did this so that his kindness to us who belong to Christ Jesus would clearly show for all time to come the amazing richness of his grace.

I mean that you have been saved by grace because you believed. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. You are not saved by the things you have done, so there is nothing to boast about. God has made us what we are. In Christ Jesus, God made us new people so that we would spend our lives doing the good things he had already planned for us to do.

True Riches

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James 1:9-11 Easy-to-Read Version

True Riches

Believers who are poor should be glad that God considers them so important. Believers who are rich should be glad when bad things happen that humble them. Their riches won’t keep them from disappearing as quickly as wildflowers. As the sun rises and gets hotter, its heat dries up the plants, and the flowers fall off. The flowers that were so beautiful are now dead. That’s how it is with the rich. While they are still making plans for their business, they will die.

You’re Blessed

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Matthew 5:1-12 The Message

You’re Blessed

When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

“You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

“You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

‚ÄúYou‚Äôre blessed when you‚Äôre content with just who you are‚ÄĒno more, no less. That‚Äôs the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can‚Äôt be bought.

“You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

‚ÄúYou‚Äôre blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‚Äėcare-full,‚Äô you find yourselves cared for.

‚ÄúYou‚Äôre blessed when you get your inside world‚ÄĒyour mind and heart‚ÄĒput right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

“You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

‚ÄúNot only that‚ÄĒcount yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens‚ÄĒgive a cheer, even!‚ÄĒfor though they don‚Äôt like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.”

Help Each Other Be Strong

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Hebrews 10:22-25 Easy-to-Read Version

Sprinkled with the blood of Christ, our hearts have been made free from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. So come near to God with a sincere heart, full of confidence because of our faith in Christ. We must hold on to the hope we have, never hesitating to tell people about it. We can trust God to do what he promised.

Help Each Other Be Strong

We should think about each other to see how we can encourage each other to show love and do good works. We must not quit meeting together, as some are doing. No, we need to keep on encouraging each other. This becomes more and more important as you see the Day getting closer.

The Bible And The TV Guide

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On the table side by side,
The Holy Bible and the TV Guide.
One is well worn and cherished with pride,
No, not the Bible, the TV Guide.

One is used daily to help folks decide,
No it isn’t the Bible it’s the TV Guide.
As the pages are turned what shall they see?
Oh, it doesn’t matter, just turn on the TV!

And so they open the book in which they confide,
Not the Bible the TV Guide!
The word of God is seldom read;
Well, maybe a verse e’er they fall into bed.
Exhausted and sleepy and tired as can be,
Not from reading the Bible but watching TV.

So back to the table side by side,
The Holy Bible and the TV Guide.
One is cherished and well worn with pride,
Not the Bible, the TV Guide!

The plan of salvation is seldom heard,
(Nor the love of God, or encouraging words,)
Forgiveness of sin so full and free
Is found in the Bible not on TV!!

I heard Jarrod Cooper (Days of wonder) read this poem on UCB UK

Is Your Worship In Vain??

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Matthew 15:8-9 (NIV)
‚Äú‚ÄėThese people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are merely human rules‚ÄĚ

Isaiah 29:13 (NIV)
13 The Lord says:

“These people come near to me with their mouth
and honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
Their worship of me
is based on merely human rules they have been taught.”

My Thoughts ūüí≠¬†

We spend countless hours checking, then double checking if everything is plugged in correctly, microphones, instruments, sound desk etc but we fail to leave time to plug our hearts into God! 

  • Have you followed the rules (I mean order of service) correctly and to the letter?
  • Have you dared to remain seated instead of standing during the song as you wouldn’t want to be frowned upon would you?
  • Do you make sure you speak nicely during prayer, putting style over substance?¬†

ūüďĖ Another Verse 4 2day! ¬†

Isaiah 1:15 (NIVUK)

When you spread out your hands in prayer,
I hide my eyes from you;
even when you offer many prayers,
I am not listening.
Your hands are full of blood!

More Thoughts ūüí≠¬†

I hope this will challenge you to focus on connecting your heart to God and not being distracted by what other people are doing, what clothes they’re wearing, if they are sitting, standing, dancing, running, kneeling. Just connect with God as you can’t worship for someone else! When you do, nothing else will matter anyway!

Don’t just go to Church, BE THE CHURCH!

Isaiah 58:7-9

‚úě Verse 4 2day!¬†

“Share your food with the hungry, and give shelter to the homeless. Give clothes to those who need them, and do not hide from relatives who need your help. Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind. Then when you call, the LORD will answer. ‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.”

Isaiah 58:7-9
The New Living Translation

As He Promised, He Will Do

‚úě Verse 4 2day!¬†

As He Promised, He Will Do
John 14:1-4

‚ÄúLet not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father‚Äôs house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. And you know the way to where I am going.‚ÄĚ

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