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Showing posts from July, 2009

"You see me in Christ"

Nevertheless, I am continually with you.
-- Psalm 73:23

"Nevertheless"-as if, notwithstanding all the foolishness and ignorance that David had just been confessing to God, not one atom was it less true and certain that David was saved and accepted, and that the blessing of being constantly in God's presence was undoubtedly his. Fully conscious of his own lost estate and of the deceitfulness and vileness of his nature, yet, by a glorious outburst of faith, he sings, "Nevertheless, I am continually with you."

Believer, you are forced to enter into Asaph's confession and acknowledgment; endeavor in like spirit to say "nevertheless, since I belong to Christ I am continually with God!" By this is meant continually upon His mind-He is always thinking of me for my good.

Continually before His eye-the eye of the Lord never sleeps but is perpetually watching over my welfare.

Continually in His hand, so that none shall be able to pluck me away.

Continually on His…

Do you know this Christ?

"It is finished!" John 19:30

Holy Father, The heavens, the earth, and all that are therein, proclaim Your wondrous goodness. But Your love shines forth in surpassing luster--at Calvary's stupendous scene! At the cross we see Your heavenly grace removing the tremendous load of our iniquities from us--and heaping them all on Your beloved Son!

We see Him standing as a transgressor in our place.
We see Him, who knew no sin--made sin for us.
We see Him, the all-holy One--accounted as a curse!
We see Your justice leading the spotless Lamb to the slaughter--and rigorously demanding the full payment for all our sin-debt!

The avenging sword enters into His very heart! The stream of sin-atoning blood flows! Full recompense is meted out! Divine Justice can ask no more. Charges against us are all obliterated. The debt-book is cancelled. If our sins are searched for, they cannot now be found!The spotless Lamb is devoted to all anguish--that we may be inheritors of all joy.

He is cast off f…

Prosperity?

"Let the LORD be magnified, who has pleasure in the prosperity of His servant." Psalm 35:27

What is "prosperity"? Is it threads of life weaved into a bright outcome? a full cup? ample riches? worldly applause? an unbroken circle? No, these are often a snare; received without gratitude; dimming the soul to its nobler destinies. Often spiritually, it rather means God taking us by the hand into the lowly Valleys of Humiliation; leading us as He did His servant Job of old--out of his sheep, oxen, camels, health, wealth, children; in order that we may be brought before Him in the dust, and say, "Blessed be His holy name!"

Yes! The very reverse of what is known in the world as Prosperity forms the background on which the Rainbow of Promise is seen. God smiles on us through these rainbows and teardrops of sorrows! He loves us too well. He has too great an interest in our spiritual welfare to permit us to live on in what is misnamed "Prosperity." When He …

Most High God

The universe with all its myriad creatures
is Thine, made by Thy word,
upheld by Thy power, governed by Thy will.

But Thou art also the Father of mercies,
the God of all grace, the bestower of all comfort,
the protector of the saved.
Thou hast been mindful of us,
hast visited us, preserved us,
given us a goodly heritage –the Holy Scriptures,
the joyful gospel, the Saviour of souls,

We come to Thee in Jesus’ name,
make mention of His righteousness only,
plead His obedience and sufferings
who magnified the law both in its precepts
and penalty, and made it honourable.
May we be justified by His blood,
saved by His life, joined to His Spirit.
Let us take up His cross and follow Him.
May the agency of Thy grace prepare us
for Thy dispensations.

Make us willing that Thou shouldest
choose our inheritance and
determine what we shall retain or lose,
suffer or enjoy;


If blessed with prosperity may we be free
from its snares, and use, not abuse, its advantages;
May we patiently and cheerfully submit
to those afflictions w…

Head and Heart

Our problem is that we tend to fall to one extreme or the other. We can continue adding to our list and expanding our definitions of these attributes without ever engaging or responding to God. We perceive (and too often take pride in) that we are learning more and deepening our knowledge of God. Or we can take a cursory, superficial look at the list, nod our assent or dismiss the “head knowledge,” and seek an experience or emotional peak that is deeper than just mere words or doctrines. Both of these approaches start with a correct but incomplete perspective.

One overvalues, the other undervalues God’s propositional revelation as a key part of His personal revelation. We need both His written Word and the incarnate Word. Unfortunately, the two extreme views often appear to be reactions to each other. Superficial disregard of doctrinal truth drives us to more emphasis on theological clarity. Cold, impersonal theological outlines seem unimportant and anemic compared to the pro…

Do you carry a "Black Book"?

You must not imagine when you hear a man swear, or when he is going on in sin- you must not write his name down in the black book, and say, "I am quite sure that man will go to the devil."

No- it may be that God ordains to save that man, and one of these days you will meet him lifting up his voice in prayer,outstripping you, perhaps, in the heavenly race, and serving his Master better than you have done! Jesus Christ takes many to his bosom, whose company we have shunned, when they were in their evil state. Sovereign mercy can dash into sinful places, and take captives! Free grace can go into the gutter, and bring up a jewel! Divine love can rake a dunghill, and find a diamond! There is no spot where God's grace cannot and will not go!

Pile up your walls, bring up the big stones of your iniquity, but Christ shall yet take your citadel and make you a captive! Plunge into the mire if you will, but that strong arm can bring you out and wash you clean. There is not str…

IF YOU ARE GOING TO READ....

“It is indeed to be desired that solid Scriptural theology, like that contained in these pages, should be valued and studied in the church. Books in which Scripture is reverently regarded as the only rule of faith and practice– books in which Christ and the Holy Ghost have their rightful office– books in which justification, and sanctification, and regeneration, and faith, and grace, and holiness are clearly, distinctly, and accurately delineated and exhibited, these are the only books which do real good.

Few things need reviving more than a taste for such books as these among readers. For my own part, I can only say that I read everything I can get hold of which professes to throw light on my Master’s business, and the work of Christ among men. But the more I read, the less I admire modern theology. The more I study the productions of the new schools of theological teachers, the more I marvel that men and women can be satisfied with such writing.

There is a vagueness, a mistiness, a s…

"Not so much an attribute as it is His very essence."

"God is love." John 4:16

You have thought of Him, perhaps, as the God of holiness, as the God of justice, as the God of power, as the God of judgment; come now and meditate upon Him as the God of love; and while you thus muse on this marvelous and soul-subduing truth, may the fire of a responsive affection kindle in your heart, and your tongue break forth into thanksgiving and praise.God is essentially the God of love.

The words which suggest our present meditation emphatically declare this: "God is love." This is, perhaps, the most sublime sentence of the Bible. It is a sentence which only could arise from a divine mind. It is at once simple and grand, intelligible and affecting. It involves a truth in which an angel's mind might expatiate, and which a child's can grasp. It reaches to the highest, and descends to the lowest intellect. That the abstract term love, and not the concrete term loving, should be employed, expresses something beyond the ordinary me…

Love is NOT a choice (Conclusion)

Today, we conclude this series. I began the series by stating, "I get so tired of hearing modern Christian leaders saying, "Love is not a feeling, it's a choice". Love is no more a choice then faith is a choice! One cannot choose to love any more than one can choose to believe. Love is the most misunderstood word in the English language and the most misrepresented human emotion on the face of this earth." Love is not a "feeling" nor a "choice"--it is a fruit of the Spirit. When we are born-again, it is planted in our souls and the only way that it will grow, is if it is: 1) Watered by the Word of God; 2) Fertilized by Communion with God in prayer; and, 3) Warmed by the the illuminating light of the Spirit of God. So let us continue now to see if we can find these fruits, so foreign to our natures, growing in our souls.

12. He who loves God will endeavour to make Him appear glorious in the eyes of others. Such as are in love will be …

Love is NOT a choice - (Part Six)

We continue now with Thomas Watson's "Test". He states in his introduction: LET us test ourselves impartially whether we are in the number of those that love God. For the deciding of this, as our love will be best seen by the fruits of it, I shall lay down fourteen signs, or fruits, of love to God, and it concerns us to search carefully whether any of these fruits grow in our garden.

10. Another blessed sign of love is, to entertain good thoughts of God. He that loves his friend construes what his friend does, in the best sense. "Love thinketh no evil" (1 Cor. xiii. 5). Malice interprets all in the worst sense; love interprets all in the best sense. It is an excellent commentator upon providence; it thinks no evil. He that loves God, has a good opinion of God; though He afflicts sharply, the soul takes all well. This is the language of a gracious spirit: "My God sees what a hard heart I have, therefore He drives in one wedge of affliction after another, to …

Love is NOT a choice (Part Five)

We will interrupt Thomas Watson's treatise (for one post in this series) to allow Jonathan Edwards to chime in on holy love.

The Scriptures do represent true religion, as being summarily comprehended in love, the chief of the affections, and fountain of all other affections.

So our blessed Savior represents the matter, in answer to the lawyer, who asked him, which was the great commandment of the law Matt. 22:37-40: "Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets." Which last words signify as much, as that these two commandments comprehend all the duty prescribed, and the religion taught in the law and the prophets.

And the apostle Paul does from time to time make the same representation of the matter; as in Rom. 13:8, "He tha…

Love is NOT a choice! (Part Four)

Part One started with this statement:


"I get so tired of hearing modern Christian leaders saying, "Love is not a feeling, it's a choice". Love is no more a choice then faith is a choice! One cannot choose to love any more than one can choose to believe. Love is the most misunderstood word in the English language and the most misrepresented human emotion on the face of this earth."
It is so important that one really ponder this. It is also important that we be cautious as to how he counsel others regarding "love".

As Thomas Watson continues, "These are the fruits of love to God. Happy are they who can find these fruits so foreign to their natures, growing in their souls.":

8. The next fruit of love is fear. In the godly love and fear do kiss each other. There is a double fear arises from love.

(i.) A fear of displeasing. The spouse loves her husband, therefore will rather deny herself than displease him. The more we love God, the more fearful we …

Love is NOT a Choice! - (Part Three)

These are the fruits of love to God. Happy are they who can find these fruits so foreign to their natures, growing in their souls. Thomas Watson

Part One
He who is in love, his thoughts are ever upon the object. He who loves God is ravished and transported with the contemplation of God.

The next fruit of love is desire of communion. Love desires familiarity and intercourse.

Part Two
Where there is love to God, there is a grieving for our sins of unkindness against Him.

Love is valorous, it turns cowardice into courage. Love will make one venture upon the greatest difficulties and hazards.


Let us further ponder what "Love" is and whether we have, at least, the seed of it germinating in our soul:


5. The fifth fruit of love is sensitiveness. If we love God, our hearts ache for the dishonour done to God by wicked men.

To see, not only the banks of religion, but morality, broken down, and a flood of wickedness coming in; to see God’s sabbaths profaned, His oaths violated, His name dishon…

Love is NOT a choice! - (Part Two)

Yesterday we began a series on Love. See Part Onefor the introduction.

As you continue reading, continue, also, to ask the Lord to show you if any of these fruits of genuine God given love grow in the garden of your heart:

3. Another fruit of love is grief. Where there is love to God, there is a grieving for our sins of unkindness against Him. A child which loves his father cannot but weep for offending him. The heart that burns in love melts in tears. Oh! that I should abuse the love of so dear a Saviour! Did not my Lord suffer enough upon the cross, but must I make Him suffer more? Shall I give Him more gall and vinegar to drink? How disloyal and disingenuous have I been! How have I grieved His Spirit, trampled upon His royal commands, slighted His blood! This opens a vein of godly sorrow, and makes the heart bleed afresh. "Peter went out, and wept bitterly" (Matt. xxvi. 75). When Peter thought how dearly Christ loved him; how he was taken up into the mount of transfigurati…

Love is NOT a choice!

I get so tired of hearing modern Christian leaders saying, "Love is not a feeling, it's a choice". Love is no more a choice then faith is a choice! One cannot choose to love any more than one can choose to believe. Love is the most misunderstood word in the English language and the most misrepresented human emotion on the face of this earth.

What I see missing in the church today is genuine Spirit-Filled, God given love. Real Love! As I watch students picketing (in the name of Christ) on college campuses against homosexuality, I see hate and rage in their eyes. As I listen to those who follow "The Way of the Master" street evangelism techniques, I see pride in their eyes and hear arrogance and hatred in their voices - as if they are somehow better then those whose eyes are still blind. It is an ugly thing.

This will begin a series of posts on what love looks like (Real Love) from the pen of Thomas Watson. As you read ask the Lord to show you if any of these fruit…

Finding the Balance that Pleases the Lord. Easier said, then done.

"Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God." Romans 15:7

The Christian, especially he who is advanced and established in the life of faith, has a fervent zeal for God--for the honor of His Name, His Word and His Gospel. The honest warmth of zeal which he feels, when God's Word is broken, His Gospel is despised, and when the great and glorious Name of the Lord his God is profaned, would, by the occasion of his infirmities, often degenerate into anger or contempt towards those who error--if he was under the influence of zeal alone.

But his zeal is blended with benevolence and humility; it is softened by a consciousness of his own frailty and fallibility. He is aware, that his knowledge is very limited in itself, and very faint in its transforming power in his own life; that his attainments are weak and few, compared with his deficiencies; that his gratitude is very disproportionate to his obligations; and that his obedience is uns…

How does this happen? (Part Two)

A few days ago, I posted an article entitled "How does this happen?" where I described a testimony given by a woman at my church during a women's forum and also described how stunned I was by her concluding comment--"The thing I need prayer about, is that I have a very difficult time being around lost sinners. They make me very uncomfortable."

John MacArthur sums up the problem beautifully in his latest post: Inward, Upward, Outward? over at the Shepherd's Fellowship blog. Here is an excerpt:"There is only one reason the Lord allows His church to remain on earth: to seek and to save the lost, just as Christ’s only reason for coming to earth was to seek and to save the lost. “As the Father has sent Me,” He declared, “I also send you” (John 20:21). Therefore, believers who are not committed to winning the lost for Jesus Christ should reexamine their relationship to the Lord and certainly their divine reason for existence.Fellowship, teaching, and praise a…

Welcome the Storm

"In a musical instrument there are some keys that must be touched in order to evoke its fullest melodies; God is a wonderful organist, who knows just what heart-chord to strike. In the Black Forest of Germany a baron built a castle with two lofty towers. From one tower to the other he stretched several wires, which in calm weather were motionless and silent. When the wind began to blow, the wires began to play like an aeolian harp. As the wind rose into a fierce gale, the old baron sat in his castle and heard his mighty hurricane-harp playing grandly over the battlements.

Just so, while the weather is calm and the skies clear, a great many of the emotions of a Christian's heart are silent. As soon as the wind of adversity smites the chords, the heart begins to play; and when God sends a hurricane of terrible trial—you will hear strains of submission and faith, and even of sublime confidence and holy exultation, which could never have been heard in the calm hours of prosperity…
"Oh, may His precious name be engraved upon our hearts, and sound sweeter than music to our ears--for He has loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and will save us to the uttermost--in defiance of . . . all our sins, all our fears and all our enemies!"

John Newton

How does this happen?

I recently attended a women's forum at my church. The evening began with a member of my church sharing a brief testimony with us. In a nutshell, it went like this:

"I was raised in a Christian home. My father was a Pastor and my mother was very involved in the women's ministry as well as home schooling us kids. From a very early age, I knew Christ as my Lord and Savior and had memorized many passages of scripture. As a young adult, I attended Master's College were I grew a great deal in the Lord and experienced true Christian fellowship. It was a wonderful time of growing in grace. That is where I met my husband. I am now a wife and a mother of a sweet little girl with another child on the way."

And here is how she ended her testimony:"The thing I need prayer about, is that I have a very difficult time being around lost sinners. They make me very uncomfortable."

I sat there stunned. In my mind I thought, "What? This is a woman who has memorized the en…

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.

For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, bu…

There is a Union which shall never be broken...

My Dear Friend,

You ask how I am--but I know not what answer to give. My experience is made up of enigmas--but the sum and solution of all is, "That I am a vile creature--but I have a good and gracious Savior!"

He has chosen me--and through His rich grace--I have chosen Him! There is a union between Him and my soul, which shall never be broken, because He has undertaken for both parts--that He will never forsake me, and that I shall never forsake Him. Oh, I like those royal, sovereign words, "I will," and "they shall."

"I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put My fear in their hearts--that they shall not depart from Me!" Jeremiah 32:40

How sweetly are they suited to the long experience He has given me of my own weakness, and the power and subtlety of Satan! If my spiritual conflicts terminate in victory--it must be owing to His own arm, and for His own name's sake. For I …

What a Glorious Lord's Day!

As I arrived home from evening Communion, I was greeted by an email from a very beloved friend. In that email, he shared the highlights of his day; and, among those highlights, he shared a few verses from one of the hymns sung during his local churches worship service that the Lord had used to feed and bless his soul.

Is it not lovely that one can praise and worship the Lord and then continue that praise and worship by sharing in a portion of another churches worship that very day? Now, that is such a beautiful example of the far reaching power of the body of Christ.

After hearing him talk about the hymn (which I could not recall ever hearing) I looked it up and simply had to post it --in its entirety. What gifts our Lord has given to His church--a never ending fountain of beauty and grace to drink from. May He use it to bless many others as it has blessed me and provided another means in which to worship my Lord this evening.

In Immanuel’s Land

The sands of time are sinking,
The daw…